Residents braces cold due to constant power black out

This prelude to the winters, residents of Hejo in Thimphu brace the bone-chilling cold every evening due to frequent power blackouts and it has been for over a month.

Residents said that despite numerous complaints tendered to the authorities, the problem is yet to be addressed.

According to the building owners and the tenants at Hejo, it has become a ritual to experience power-cuts every evening. “The minute the clock strike 6 to 7 PM, we have to ready for the blackout,” said Aum Dechen, a building owner at Hejo.

She said the power cut has really become problematic especially because they are preparing meals during the time of the day. “Sometimes, we have to get rid of rice cooker full of half-cooked rice”.

A Resident of Hejo, Sungdron said that there is risk of even damaging their home appliances. “When cut-off happens without any warning, our home appliances such as Television, Refrigerators and cooking appliances are shut down suddenly”.

Residents said that although no written complaints have been put up numerous complaints have been lodged to the Bhutan Power Corporation and calling BPC’s toll free number has become almost part of the day’s works. “Person responding the call keeps saying that the problem is being analyzed and will be fixed soon,” said a resident.

Another resident said that the problem is sometimes fixed only to occur the next day at the same set hour. “We’re told that they’ve their people stationed in the area,” he said. He acknowledged that the cut off doesn’t persist for not more than few minutes. “However,” he said, “it is the frequent and random cut-offs happening suddenly which will damage home appliances”.

People living in the area say that it is interesting that the cut-off happens randomly. “We’ve one storey of the building with bright light, while others are left in darkness.” What could be the problem, they asked.

People suspect that it is to do with the load capacity since it is winter and many households use intensive home-heating equipment. Others have heard that the power lines are not properly stretched. A resident said “If this is true, it risks even short circuit”.

Whatever may be the problem, authorities are yet to react to it. For now, residents need to cope all on their own with the power failures.

The officials from Operation and Maintenance office under the Electricity Services Division (ESD) said that the probable cause could be due to the new substation set up in Hejo which is currently sharing the old transformer which is over loaded.

With such works under way the officials said that the power cut-off would be experienced and the power lines are safely erected where no risk is associated during such power failure.

“Problem will be soon resolved as it has been only three days the operation and maintenances office has set up new substation,” the official with operation and maintenances office Yeshi said.




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