January 11: Bhutan and India have finalised the implementation agreements for Punatsangchhu-II and Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Projects. The Government of India has committed to provide Nu. 20 billion as grant and rest as loan. This was finalized during the 7th Authority Meeting of the Punatsangchhu-I Hydropower Project in New Delhi, India this week.
Speaking to BBS, the Economic Affairs Minister, Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, said works for Punatsangchhu-II and Mangdechhu Hydropower Projects will start by April this year.
The minister said that the Government of India is totally committed to develop 10,000 Megawatts of hydropower by 2020, if not earlier.
“The amount of money that is required for 10,000 MW is very large by any standards; we are talking of nothing less than Nu. 500 billion or over US $ 10 billion,” said Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk.
The 4,060 megawatt Sunkosh Hydropower Project will also start by early 2011, according to the minister. Other than this, the two governments also agreed to start implementation works of other hydropower projects as and when detailed project reports are ready.
“This in effect means by 2011, we will have four projects under implementation which has the capacity to generate 7,000 megawatt of power so thereafter in the next 2011 and 2012 we will then also work on starting the implementation of other projects,” said Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk.