Thimphu Thromde signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) to improve coordination in providing public services, yesterday.

Thimphu thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee, said that with the signing of the agreement, the two agencies will continue to work together to reduce public fund expenditure by avoiding unnecessary expenditures and wastage of resources.

The thrompon said that the construction of a common cable duct on a cost-sharing basis is progressing well. “Once the work is complete, the duct is expected to greatly benefit the BPC.”

All cables will be laid in the duct and digging of the ground everywhere to lay cables will be avoided. The duct will be covered and made into a pedestrian walkway, he added.

The thrompon suggested that BPC could look into relocating power stations and mini-poles in the city that cause inconveniences to the public.

He said that some of the mini-poles are erected in the middle of a pedestrian walkway or on the road that could lead to accidents. “Relocating them on a cost sharing basis would protect pedestrians and motorists from possible accidents and also make the city beautiful.”

The thromde signed an MoU with country’s telecommunication service providers and the two cable operators in January this year.

BPC’s managing director, Gem Tshering, said that they missed the MoU signing earlier this year because there was a misunderstanding and a communication gap.

“It is not because we didn’t want to sign the MoU,” he said. “We are the happiest to sign the agreement.”

He said that it is important that the two agencies work together to further improve their services to the public as the services of both the agencies go together.

He added that the two agencies have been working together at the ground level. “With the signing of the MoU, we now also have to look at repairing the existing service structures with due procedure in the city.”

The managing director said that signing the MoU with the thromde will make it easier for BPC to carry out their work.

With the signing of the agreement, the stakeholders are expected to share their annual work plans with the thromde and vice versa.

The thromde will also share information concerning the stakeholders through Open Street Mapping.

The terms in the agreement require that the stakeholders obtain prior approval from the thromde for any kind of work. The thromde, in turn will study, approve and identify areas for the stakeholders’ work such as identifying and allocating points to erect poles, provide Right Of Ways (ROW) for underground cable lines, and site plans for demarcation.

Besides sharing with the thromde their cable network ducts, tower locations and positioning and emission data, among others, stakeholders are also expected to share the leased land and infrastructure for towers and other services wherever possible with the other stakeholders.

Dechen Tshomo