India Bhutan sign 12 agreements including hydel power MoUs

In a bid to strengthen cooperation in the hydropower sector, India and Bhutan signed four agreements aimed at harnessing hydel power in Bhutan.

The four MoUs pertain to conducting technical surveys for hydropower and form a part of 12 agreements that were signed after discussions between prime minister Manmohan Singh and Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Nepal on Tuesday. The King is on his first foreign visit since his coronation last year.

The two countries have agreed to prepare detailed project reports for the Kuri Gongri, Chamkharchhu-1 and Kholongchhu hydropower projects and Amochu reservoir projects that will generate 1,800-MW , 1670 MW 670 MW respectively.

Additionally, the countries have also agreed to finalise implementation agreements for Punatsangchhu-2 project.

Bhutan's current power consumption is 400 MW of its installed capacity of 1,500 MW . The 1100 MW surplus is taken up by India which is helping Bhutan enhance its capacity to 10,000 MW by 2020 as announced by Singh last year. India has extended assistance to Bhutan in setting up hydroelectric projects at Chukha, Kurichu and Tala and is presently helping Himalayan kingdom with the construction of Punatsangchhu-1 project.

The fifth King of Bhutan, held one-on-one and delegation level talks with Singh during which both the leaders discussed a wide-range of issues including issues pertaining to bilateral and regional interests.