Electricity: The erratic power supply problem in the four gewogs of Phobjikha, Sephu, Dangchu and Gangtey in Wangduephodrnag will be over by the end of this year, according to Bhutan Power Corporation officials.

The power distribution company is in the middle of bringing additional source from Trongsa and hopes it will end the persistent erratic supply to the gewogs, especially in Phobjikha, Gangtey and Rukubji.

BPC’s Wangdue dzongkhag manager Dilli Ram Adhikari said that they have started with works to bring 33kw power from Yurmoo in Trongsa to Chazam in Wangdue through Gangla Pogto.

The lines have reached Chandebji between Trongsa and Rukubji, with more five km transmission works completed and another 5kms underway. This was done through rural electricity supply.

“If the current power supply from Lobesa faces faults and villagers faces blackout, then we can back-charge from the Trongsa line,” the manager said.

The manager said BPC has also approved budget for another 15.5kms or 33kw distribution line from Dundungnisa (after crossing Nodbing) till Phobjikha.  The BPC office in Wangdue is currently preparing papers to tender out the work.

“Within this year, we are planning to complete all the works and improve the reliability of the power supply in these gewogs,” he said. “Since the road works are also likely to complete before this yearend, we are sure the frequent disturbance on transmission lines would also be reduced.”

Frequent power blackouts are attributed either to the road widening works or falling of trees on electricity poles. Most of the time because of the developmental activities including road widening, blasting at roadside, transmission lines are either cut off or disturbed.

The manager said BPC is also planning to come up with a sub division office at Phobjikha with an in-charge deployed to help cater services to the four gewogs.

Dilli Ram Adhikari said manpower shortage and blackouts in places that are far from the office station in Bajo is a major problem. “When we’re off to correct one fault, we receive complaints from another place,” he said. “We are also hopeful to receive additional manpower, as request has been put-up with the head office.”

Local leaders of Phobjikha and Sephu said power goes off whenever it rained, during snowfall and on windy days. “The problem is so frequent that we even hesitate to complain about it now,” a local leader said.

Some villagers in Phobjikha and Gangtey still use solar power in wake of frequent blackouts.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue