Blackout: Power in Trongsa and Bumthang was restored at around 6:40 pm yesterday after 20 hours of blackout caused by a broken jumper at Bayling between Yurmu in Trongsa and Tingtibi substation under Zhemgang.

A jumper is a device used for continuity of power between two electric towers. The power went out at around 9:15 pm on January 6.

“Our system could not locate the glitch because the broken jumper was hanging in the air which otherwise would have been easily traced had it been touching the conductor,” an official from Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) said.

A jumper is normally located in the air and locating the faulty one was obstructed. The official said that the BPC lineman had to inspect each tower one by one to trace the problematic jumper.

“That is why it took us so long to first trace the fault and then fix it,” the official said.

BPC officials said that the jumper broke down from its dilapidated condition because there was no opportunity to fix it given customer objections to power interruptions.

“Since the project in Trongsa and high-end hoteliers in Bumthang object power interruptions, long hour power break downs are expected because of aging jumpers,” the official said, adding the only maximum time BPC gets to inspect the conductors is 10-15 minutes.

And without giving enough time it is difficult to see the faults in jumpers because it is located in the air he said.

Meanwhile, financial institutions both in Bumthang and Trongsa remained idle throughout the day yesterday.

“We were idle yesterday without power since every transactions and banking services being online relies on electricity,” an official from one of the banks in Trongsa said.

The official also said that that the banks in Trongsa particularly were affected with the power blackout since it is a project area.

“We would have run a loss of somewhere between Nu 40,000-50,000 from exchange services yesterday,” the official said, adding the bank would also have incurred losses from other services like deposits besides affecting customer services.

ATM services in both Trongsa and Bumthang were unavailable until the restoration of the power.

Some banks in Bumthang also remained closed throughout the day yesterday solely because of lack of power.

But project works in Mangdechu hydro power project (MHPA) was unaffected by the power interruption. MHPA technical director G. Baidya said that the project was able to continue its works with use of standby construction power or generators for project components including dam and the head race tunnel.

“There was no disruption of the project works from power break down ” G. Baidya said.

By Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang