NEW DELHI, June 29 - Weeks after Bhutan threatened to stop irrigation water supply to the Bodoland Territorial Region, India on Monday said that besides continuing with developmental partnership, it will ensure uninterrupted supply of essentials and other goods to the neighbouring country despite the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
While signing an agreement for a hydroelectric project, both the countries also emphasised that trust, cooperation and mutual respect have long characterised the unique and special friendship, reinforced by a shared cultural heritage and strong people-to-people links between India and Bhutan.
The concession agreement for the 600-MW Kholongchhu (joint venture) hydroelectric project between the Royal Government of Bhutan and Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited was signed in Thimphu in the virtual presence of India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Bhutan Foreign Minister Lyonpo (Dr) Tandi Dorji among top officials of the two countries.
The 600-MW run-of-the-river project is located on the lower course of the Kholongchhu river in Trashiyangtse district in eastern Bhutan. The project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150-MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 metres height.
It will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited, a joint venture company formed between Druk Green Power Corporation of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited of India.
The signing of the concession agreement will lead to commencement of construction and other works of this first joint venture hydroelectric project between India and Bhutan. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025.