Hilly region of Chin nationals beginning to brighten from darkness

  • By Min La Pyae
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A village in mountains in Chin State. 
Photo: Tin Win

Snow-capped mountains were overwhelmed with cool atmospheres. Ranges of mountains are situated as high walls from north to south. Eucalyptus, cherry and tree rhododendrons are growing in mosaic, on a vast land. Colorfully decorated houses made of bricks and corrugated iron sheets cannot be seen any longer in the dark whereas abodes with colorful electric bulbs are brightening on tops of the mountains. This is a scene on Chin hilly regions which are beginning to enjoy the nascent progress in the inhabitants’ social life due to the availability of electricity. Chin State consists of 9 townships—Haka, Htantalan, Phalan, Titein, Matupi, Mindat, Kanpetlet, Paletwa and Tonzan and other 6 towns. Until now, electricity had been supplied to Haka, Phalan, Htantalan, Mindat, Kanpetlet and Khaing Kam town from the National Power Grid Line, using 9.5 megawatt. On October 19, 2017 U Min Naing, director of department of power supply and control, project for power distribution [Northern] explained to responsible officials of Chin State Government, “Mindat and Matupi are 220 miles far by road, but so as to save national finance and to distribute power to the public in the shortest power grid line we unavoidably to send it, passing Nat Ma Taung National Garden of 26.5 miles in length.

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Nat Ma Taung forest reserve from milestone 50 to 68 must be passed. For distribution of power not only in urban areas but also in rural areas, arrangement and necessary calculation should be made for acquisition of hydro power supply, because local villagers are feeling unhappy as they have no access to use electricity, though they are seeing gridlines passing their villages.”To the great delight of the local populace, 51.9 mile long 66 KVA gridline and 66/11 KV 5 MVA Matupi transformer started to be implemented, starting from FY 2017-2018. Gridlines are to be installed with great difficulties, even at the risk of lives at the places of cliffs, summits of the hills and some slopes, especially nearby 15 villages in Mindat township, namely—Dautdwe, Sheinparo, Shi, Ayetharyar, 40 mile village, Yaunglaung, 51 mile village, Twidein, Layshi, Hintone, Yantein-A, Yantein-B, Chanpyan-B and across two creeks-Mone Chaung and Lei Myo Chaung. And, surveys are underway for construction of 16.3 mile long 66 KVA Thaingngin-Titein power gridline to be sent from National Power Gridline system and Titein transformer, starting from FY 2017-2018. Though Titein transformer was targeted to be built on the flat ground between football playground of Titein SHS-2 and Office of Meteorology and Hydrology, it must be transferred to another as it is very close to MPT Fiber Cable. But, along the 66 KVA Thaingngin-Titein power gridline there are no forest area, hence no need to perform the tasks of land process. Sulin, Thaingngin, Fort White, Arlwei, Sozem, Saungpee, Deinlo, Sezen and Titein villagers are situated near the gridline. Suitable route will be 16.3 miles only long to rebuild Thaingngin-Titein gridline. In FY 2018-2019 suitable route will be found to go round twice via Kalay to Chin State, without depending upon power gridline coming from Gantgaw in future. But surveys have not been done yet. It will be a great pleasure for local people and town dwellers.

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A Chin ethnic girl returns home carrying basket. Photo: tin win

As of FY 2018-2019, 37-mile-long 66 KV power gridline from Kyauktaw in Rakhine to Paletwa in Chin State, extension of Kyauktaw transformer and construction of Paletwa transformers will be implemented. Surveys had started since FY 2017-2018. While building up Kyauktaw-Paletwa power gridline, it was learnt that the line had passed 4.41 miles within Kaladan reserve forests no. 5 and 4. It will go through Wagin, Winsu and Shwepyi villages in Kyauktaw townsip. In installing 66 KV gridlines, the Ministry of Electrical Power and Energy will carry out the tasks—to choose the shortest route as much as possible, to choose the nearest place to roads so that maintenance work can be easily done, to choose suitable routes for potential loading in future, to abide by rules and regulations concerning farmers’ possession and farming land, to avoid going near to hills and mountains, bridges, swamps and cliffs, religious edifices, schools, airport and military bases. It is difficult to find suitable routes as the work is generally done on hilly regions. In installing 66 KV gridlines, suitable routes had been chosen to avoid villages, towns and civilian areas as much as possible from beginning to end, so as not to destruct social environment.

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A Chin woman with hand-made traditional ear-plugs and beads.  Photo: Tin Win

Construction of TV Masts, in digging up the ground for building foundations the ground hole must be 25 feet in width for a tower. On completion of building towers there will be 4 concrete blocks measuring 1 ½ ft each in length, width and height left on the ground, after filling the ground. In surveying and carrying equipment and tools, special care must be given so as not to destroy crops and not to take places of electric accidents. The Ministry of Electrical Energy and Power has been performing the tasks of negotiating for the use of land for erecting Towers to build 500 KV, 230 KV, 132 KV and 66 KV gridlines in addition to power gridlines—existing and under construction, collecting data on loss and destruction by township-level investigations formed by regional organizations regarding giving out compensations in case perennial plants and crops were destroyed, submitting to upper organizations by calculating according to the prices as designated in local area and handing over compensation money to persons in question for grievance individually after approval was received, across the nation for availability of electrical power mainly needed for national development.  To sum it up, with the broadmindedness of the Union Government, concerted effort of the Ministry of Electrical Energy and Power, cooperation between Chin State Government and Chin State Parliament and effort of Chin State Electrical Department, acquisition of power will increase and socio-economic development of the populace in Chin State will be achieved in near future.


Translated by Khin Maung Oo

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