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Bumthang power cut puts paid to presidential debate

Tashi, who runs a hotel in Chamkhar town, rushed to prepare evening meals just so she could have time off to watch the presidential debate live on television.

But just as she was all done and set for the debate that was supposed to take off at 6pm, the light went off only to return after it was all over.

“I’m very disappointed,” Tashi said. “The debate could have helped us get a good idea about the existing parties but we missed out. Something should be done about it.”

The power cuts Bumthang has been experiencing in recent days has pushed many residents over the edge.

A private employee Sonam Tobgay said he was also eagerly waiting for the live debate, which was “an important event” in the ongoing election process.

“But the power fluctuation has made it impossible to get anything done these days,” he said.

Bhutan Power corporation manager in Bumthang, Gyeltshen, said the problem was mainly with the connection in Taktse, Trongsa, which shares a “feeder line” to Bumthang.

“Because of continuous rainfall and lightning, several insulators have been punctured and damaged there,” he said, adding repairing works were going on and the attempt to “charge” in Taktse resulted in power cuts in Trongsa and Bumthang.

He said power supply to eastern Bhutan was from Kurichu hydropower, but it also depended on the hydropower in Salakati and Gangia in North India.

Gyeltshen said the Kurichu line could carry only 12MW of load, which was why the Indian load was attached. “There’s no problem from India’s power supply, the problem is within,” he said.

Then there was the mini-hydel, which was usually used as a back up, but was not functioning at the moment.

Power officials said they were repairing it and once done, it would help solve power problems.

By Sonam Choden

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  1. Same thing happened here in Phobjikha. All people missed the presidental debate. It is really disgusting. I really wonder why the powercut happens so frequently. It came for around 3 hours in the afternoon today. Something is not really functioning well. We have been living in dark for days. In the absence of electricity everything is dead.

  2. We produce enough but we have less to use it….so disgusting. do sth about this before we miss another political live show….if any!

  3. Power problems in Bumthang is not new. It has been going since many years b4.

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