Rural Electrification V, Bhutan
Bhutan is pursuing a program of Rural Electrification and the target of the current 9th Plan is to connect 15.000 rural households. In the concentrated effort of many donors, Austria is also putting in its share. The Austrian assistance allows clusters of houses to be taken up that were left out of large scale planning because of various reasons. This program is certainly the one with the most direct and visible benefit to the rural households in Bhutan.
Until now four Rural Electrification (RE) contracts have been approved. The RE I and RE III have been completed and final project completion report and the audited accounts have been submitted. RE II (balance funds utilisation) and RE IV will be completed by end of December 2006. So far, under the RE-I (228 Households-HH) RE-II (266HH) and RE-III (503HH), a total of 997 households have been electrified in the rural villages of Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Thimphu, Haa, Wangdue, Mongar, Zhemgang, Pemagatsel and Samtse. Upon completion of the RE IV and RE II (balance funds utilisation) by end of 2006, more than 1500 households will have been supplied with electricity.
During the implementation of the RE IV (2116-00-2004) in Tang and Langthel, 50 households in Tang Gewog and 49 households under Langthel Gewog including a school, Basic Health Unit and Gup Office have been left out, inspite of the fact that these houses are quite close to the project area. According to the Department of Energy, the Rural Electrification programs are implemented village wise and clarified that it is possible that some villages even though located close to the project area are sometimes left out. During the field visit to the project, the local authorities requested for additional assistance to include these left out households as they are located very close to the project area. Therefore, the Rural Electrification V aims at connecting the additional 99 households in Tang and Langthel Gewogs.