Business Bhutan - - EDITORIAL - YESHEY DORJI Yeshey Dorji is a mem­ber of the Ro­tary Club and an avid blog­ger and pho­tog­ra­pher

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?

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