SOMETHING HAS GONE SERIOUSLY WRONG SOMEWHERE
Most of my friends have started their room heaters since mid October. I adamantly refused to do so. The reason: I cannot afford to pay the electricity bill. Last year, to my horror, I realized that my electricity bill during the winter months was anywhere from Nu.7,000.00 to Nu.9,000.00 per month!!! I simply cannot afford that kind of heating bill. So this year I refused to use the panel heater in my office – to control cost.
Today is 1st December - and I started my panel heater for the first time. I simply couldn’t do without it any longer.
I start my work at 5AM these days. By 7AM my fingers would be frozen stiff! But I adamantly refused to start the heater! When it became intolerable, I would go out and start my car and put on its heating system. One round of the town and I would be warm enough to continue to work.
Bhutan is supposed to be a net exporter of hydro-electricity. Why is it then that poor people like me and other citizens cannot afford to heat our homes with our own electricity that we supposedly generate in abundance? Why is it that we have to queue up at the petrol pumps for cooking gas and kerosene?
Promises have been made that we would be so rich from the earnings from export of hydro-power, that our roads would be paved in gold. In truth the reality is that today the common man cannot afford to heat their homes with electricity.
Something has gone seriously wrong somewhere.
Those who speak so eloquently about hydro-power need to ask this one simple question: Why is it that the Bhutanese people prefer to queue up at the petrol pumps, to purchase imported energy source - over our own electricity?