India to connect Bhutan projects with roads
November 01, 2009: Bhutan is constructing over a dozen hydropower plants with targets to generate some 11,000 MW of power by 2020, all to be absorbed in Indian markets. To all these projects, it is only Indian companies who are investing.
India stopped some mega projects in Assam and Sikkim to drill Bhutan’s hyro potentials. For this to happen, a smoother transport is necessary connecting all project sites.
The projects in Bhutan are to start their construction from early 2010. However, considering Bhutan’s road network, it would be very tough time for Indian constructors to deliver human resources and material resources to the project sites.
To ease the situation, the two governments have signed an agreement to build more roads connecting all these project sites, to ensure works are not interrupted due to transport problem.
Top on the list is to improve the Gelephu –Santabari (Assam) road, which links mega projects like Punatshangchu I and II, Chamkarchhu I and Mangdechu plants.
Two governments during the second annual consultation of the Bhutan – India Development Talks held in Thimphu on October 28 – 30 finalized the road construction plans.
The government of India agreed for timely release of the fund for the construction.
Besides, both the governments agreed to hold the first Small Development Projects Committee meeting by the first week of November. The committee will consider and approve the projects, relating to rural development proposed by local governments.
The agreement on this effect was signed by foreign secretary Daw Penjo and the Joint Secretary, (North) of the ministry of external affairs, India, Satish C Metha.