The recent power disruption in Phuentsholing has affected water supply from reservoirs that run on electricity, which led to a water shortage in the border town.

Around 9:50pm on May 7, the 11kv circuit breaker at Bhutan Power Corporation’s (BPC) 66/33/11kv substation failed, cutting off the town’s power supply.

Although BPC was able to resume power after more than 15 hours, the northern parts of the border town faced power fluctuations yesterday.

A press release from BPC explained that the failure of the 11kV circuit switch box damaged an important indoor equipment at the substation and cut off power supply in the whole of Phuentsholing.

It also stated that a fire that spread inside the substation damaged an important equipment of the company. “Power supply in Phuentsholing town and adjacent areas catered from the substation were all affected,” it stated.

The press release also stated that while the power supply in Phuentsholing has been completely restored, the replacement of the damaged breakers would be done on priority.

It is the northern areas such as Kabreytar and Dhamdara that faced power fluctuations yesterday.

A resident, Dorji Gyeltshen, who stays in Kabreytar, said power supply resumed on May 8 evening but was cut again yesterday. “There are fluctuations,” he said.

A hotel manager, Rinzin Lhamo, said they had to send their clients to Jaigaon without water supply available.

“Although the power supply is restored, there is no water at our hotel,” she said. “Our clients are complaining.”

The manager said that her concern was that even hotels in Jaigaon were getting filled. “Other hoteliers are facing the same problem,” she added.

Meanwhile, most of the water supply reservoirs are located in the northern areas and without power, the water cannot be pumped to other areas in town, thromde officials said.

Starting May 8, thromde has been providing water to residents and hoteliers from a tanker with a capacity of 9,000 litres of water.

Thromde has one tank and it continuously worked towards supplying water as of yesterday.

Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said that 60 percent of water in Phuentsholing is pumped from the ground and that needs high voltage power to pump into the tanks.

“However, we are trying in every possible way to provide water,” he said, adding that the thromde is concerned and needs cooperation from the people.

Meanwhile, by yesterday evening most residents started getting their water supply.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing