Rural Electrification VI Phobjikha Bhutan
Bhutan is pursuing a program of Rural Electrification and the target of the 10th Plan is to connect 25,000 rural households. 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.
The Rural Electrification projects (RE I, RE II, RE III and RE IV) implemented under Austrian assistance have been completed. By end 2007, a total of 1571 households have been electrified. Rural Electrification V is still under implementation.
The proposed project Rural Electrification VI will help to meet some of the goals of the 10th Five Year Plan and finance the electrification of 800 rural households including institutions in two (2) Gewogs namely Gangtey and Phobjikha under Wangdiphodrang Dzongkhag. The power supply, grid extension and organizational structure for implementation of the proposed project are in place. The Project area encompasses the natural habitat of the endangered species (Black Necked Cranes). The Royal Society of Protection of Nature (RSPN) a local Environment/Conservation NGO is very active in the project area and is also responsible for the conservation of the Black Necked Cranes. The RSPN therefore was involved from the inception in the planning and designing phases of this project. The project has been planned and designed in the most environmentally friendly way using underground power distribution systems in the vicinity of the roosting areas of the endangered species so as not to bring any adverse effect on the migratory patterns of the endangered species. The Implementing Agency has allocated sufficient funds and shall engage the services of the RSPN to monitor the construction works in accordance with the environmental guidelines attached to the project document. The project will be guided by a Steering Committee chaired by the DG of the Department of Energy