Tangsibji mini hydel, that lit some 43 houses in Tangsibji village in Trongsa in the 80s remain defunct today.

Boulders dug out during the East-West highway widening works blocked the water at the intake point sometime in the middle of December last year.

Bhutan Power Corporation’s (BPC) Division Manager in Trongsa, Karma Leki said he already wrote to the Department of Roads (DoR) to have the blockade and damages cleared at the earliest.

“The boulders are huge and men can’t remove them,” he said adding that they might require blasting.

There is however, no direct impact on the people in the village when the mini hydel remains closed. “But it is important that it remains operational since it was a gift from Japan to Bhutan,” he said. The energy that the plant generates is synchornised with the eastern grid.

BPC’s assistant technician, Phub Dorji, who has been operating the mini hydel for about 30 years, said it never broke down so far unlike other mini hydels in the country. “The engine is in good condition and can resume generation once the block is cleared,” he said.

The mini hydel that the Japan government established in 1987 is one of the 10 in the country and generates 37.5 KVA.

Chief Engineer of DoR in Trongsa, Taugay Choidup said he is unaware of the mini hydel located below the highway. “We were informed that they have an irrigation channel,” he said.

Taugay Choidup said the contractor has left the cutting incomplete at a stretch near Zalamchu fearing disruption to paddy cultivation. The cutting is planned after the village completes paddy cultivation.

The mini hydel stands above Tangsibji village, at about 10 minutes walk from the village road.

Nima Wangdi | Trongsa