Electricity: Dagapela dzongkhag may boast of having a hydroelectric project not far away from it, but the growing town cannot get away from a problem that has gripped it for years- power fluctuation.

The frequency is so high that residents say they are as good as not having electricity. “Sometimes the light goes off for 10 to 15 times in 24 hours,” said a resident, Dorji who runs an outlet for one of the telecom companies. “The service if affected whenever there is no electricity,” he said.

Hoteliers said business is hampered as they depend heavily on electricity. “Without electricity, it becomes tiring to cook for many heads,” she said. “It has been like that. All we can do is complain.”

The Dagachhu project has nothing to do with Dagapela as electricity to the town is supplied from a substation in Darjay, Tsirang.

Bhutan Power Corporation’s chief Manager in Dagapela, Kumba Rai admitted the problem and said that their dependence on the substation was the main cause of the problem.

“For the power from Tsirang to reach Dagana, there are 14 transformers and the disturbance on one transformer hampers the main line which leads to the problem of fluctuations” he said.

However, the manager said that solutions are on the way. Construction of a 220/33 KV sub-station in Dagapela will start in December. The groundbreaking ceremony was done recently at the site.  “This will solve the problem as we will have an alternative power feeder,” he said.

At the moment, residents will have to get use to the fluctuations.

Yeshey Dema, Dagapela