Despite several requests, about five households in Samrang gewog in Samdrupjongkhar who have constructed new houses are still waiting for Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) to supply electricity.

Similarly, about new 20 households in Phuntshothang gewog and six households in Martshala are also waiting for electricity supply. Samdrupcholing is about 65km from Samdrupjongkhar.

Villagers said that some houses were constructed almost a year ago while few were constructed some months back.

They applied for electrification to the electricity supply sub-division based in Samdrupcholing, but are yet to get electricity and make use of the free 100 units.

Most villagers said that their power supply is connected through temporary poles, which they got while constructing the house. Villagers claimed that they are charged the commercial rate of about Nu 3 per unit.

A farmer in Samrang, MB Gurung, said he has been waiting for the last six months to get electricity for his new house.  But he has been told that the BPC office in Samdrupcholing does not have enough electric poles.

“We’re still charged the commercial rate while we are yet to use the 100 units free electricity that the government gave us,” he said. “We can’t even complain otherwise they might discontinue the temporary power line and the bill comes to about Nu 1,000 a month.”

Another villager added that the temporary power supply is not reliable since the poles are usually disturbed by wind.

Martshala gup Sangay Wangchuk said they did not raise the issue in the recent dzongkhag tshogdu since BPC officials had agreed to supply electric poles as soon as possible during the gewog tshogde last month.

“We requested the sub-division’s in-charge if it was possible to supply poles otherwise, would request the head office,” he said. “They informed poles would be supplied soon.”

He added that some households are sharing electricity from neighbours even through it is not allowed.

Phuntshothang gup Jamyang Gyeltshen said the new households are impatiently waiting for the electric poles.

“We were told that there are no enough electric poles and the requisition has already been made. Hopefully by next financial year, we will have the poles.”

BPC regional director, Vesraj Bhujel, said that the office entertains all applications they receive and that electrification work is still going on and expected to complete by early December. “By then all households would receive electricity.”

Yangchen C Rinzin