English | Dzongkha Saturday, July 24, 2021

Punakha Dzong re-electrified to European standard


Jul 21, 2021

With the re-electrification works complete, the Punakha Dzong’s electrical system is now upgraded to European standards. It means the dzong is now more secured and safe from fire hazards. The department of culture together with a group of Swiss experts and Bhutanese technicians executed the re-electrification project in April this year. Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck graced the closing ceremony of the project yesterday.

The project was initiated by Her Majesty is to fulfil His Majesty The King and His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s wishes to protect all dzongs and Lhakhang in the country and Her Majesty’s own wish to protect heritage sites with safe electrical systems.

The new electrical up-gradation provides better lighting inside the dzong. The dzong has a new earthing system and sensors installed.

“We installed around 2,500 lights in the dzong, different lights. Some LED lights like tube lights, then some spotlights in the Kuenray. We installed a lot of special lights to highlight all the statues. We highlighted more than forty-four temples,” said Emanuel Fluckiger, one of the Swiss experts involved in the project.

More than twenty-five trainees of Khuruthang Technical Training Institute, ten DeSuup electricians and ten other Bhutanese electricians participated in the project.

“So far, we have been undergoing electrical training as per the Indian standard. We found a vast difference when we learnt the Swiss standard. It’s different in terms of equipment and working style. I feel it would be best if we could work with the Swiss standard in our country in the future,” said Pasang Wangdi, one of the trainees of Khuruthang Technical Training Institute.

“Earlier, it was difficult for us to see the statues and Thangkas due to low lights. However, after the re-electrification works, it has improved drastically. Now, it looks beautiful,” said Sangay Jamtsho, Umze of the Central Monastic Body.

“The old electrical supply was installed a long time back. With the new system, the dzong will have a safer and more secured system. Moreover, all the workers and experts were from outside,” said Ugyen Tshering, Senior Dzongrab of Punakha.

The overall cost of the Royal project is nearly Nu 53 M. Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother granted a seed fund of Nu 10 M. Emanuel Fluckiger contributed Nu 20.04 M and the government spent Nu 22.28 M.

Built in 1637, Punakha Dzong is one of the oldest dzongs in the country.

Changa Dorji, Punakha

Edited by Sonam Pem

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