Frequent power disruption affects business in Phuentsholing

Businesses in Phuentsholing have been hit by the recent power disruptions this week. The business communities and the residents have been irked for the past few days.

They have reported loss without any work due to absence of electricity. Most of the works are digitized, even the daily sale records are now done on computers.

The businesses along Gol building and Deli lane and lower market areas have been facing the power cut. The other areas have not experienced frequent disruptions. “I feel that BPC (Bhutan Power Corporation) should not take the issue for granted. We have suffered in the heat,” said Gado, who runs an internet café in town. He kept his shop closed during the blackout. The area was left without power from Sunday till Tuesday. Gado used to earn around Nu 1,500 per day. Internet cafes cannot function without electricity as all its services are electricity based. He offers downloading, scanning and photocopy services.

Likewise restaurants and hotels are the other entities have also faced losses without electricity. Since most of the cooking in hotels and restaurants are done using electricity, they could not offer food to the customers. “We could only manage using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) somehow,” a restaurant owner in Phuentsholing said. Also, unable to withstand the heat inside without fans, the hoteliers said that they lost customers, who preferred to go to other locations.

A telecommunication distributor also said that they could not provide efficient services unlike other days. “We have to enter data and it requires a copy of the Citizenship Identity card which can’t be done without electricity. We request BPC to make necessary arrangements for similar mishaps in the future,” said Karma, the owner of Ugyen Brothers.

A hotelier along Dekiling said that the hotel has remained without customers for three days losing around Nu 40,000. “BPC shuts down the transformer without prior information to the people. Otherwise, we could have managed,” said SB Monger, Manager at Yuzu Hotel.

Meanwhile, the residents say that BPC should work effectively to avoid future inconveniences in big towns and cities. They say that prior notification could also avoid losing data from the computers. “Since every activity today is digitized, such shutdown would lose information while working. Prior information could save such mishap,” a private employee said.

BPC has however restored the power supply from the transformer and added 500k transformer to the existing one. Now, they have 1,400KV supply to the town.

BPCs Regional Director said that the electrical engineers from Gairkata, India to repair transformer. After assessing the damage, BPC will repair. “The problem is solved and will be fixed,” Karma Wangchuk said.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing