The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II

The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II Dam today.

The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II Dam

Having been a keen observer of hydropower development in the country right from the construction of the Chukha Hydropower Project in the late 1970s, Tala, Basochu and Kurichu hydropower projects, Lyonpo said that Bhutan, fortunately is bestowed with large hydropower potential, estimated at more than 30,000 MW, often referred to as white gold and the backbone of the Bhutanese economy.

“Today, the hydropower sector provides more than 27% of the country’s revenue and about 18% of GDP,” Lyonpo said adding that despite the challenges involved are many and complex such as mitigating impacts on environment & ecology, coping with hydro-metrological changes and adverse geological & geotechnical uncertainties, the Royal Government is committed to accelerating its hydropower development.

During the milestone event, Lyonpo signified the completion of diversion of Punatsangchhu River in time before the onset of the monsoon as an excellent achievement. The accomplishment has advanced the project commissioning schedule by six months.

“I would like to congratulate the Project Authority, management officials and staff of Punatsangchhu-II Project and its contractors, their consultants WAPCOS and concerned Government of India organizations such as Central Water Commission, Central Electric Authority and Geological Survey of India. Their valuable expertise has been very essential for the speedy and quality execution of project works,” Lyonpo attributed.

At the event, Lyonpo told the esteemed gathering that the Royal Government of Bhutan would not have been able to embark on its ambitious programme to develop its vast hydropower potential without the friendship, understanding and unwavering support of the Government and people of India. Lyonpo also informed that during his visit to Thimphu a few days ago, H.E Shri Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary of India, assured India would do everything possible to ensure the realization of 10000 MW of hydropower by the year 2020.
“This, as the Foreign Secretary said, will not only strengthen Bhutan’s economy and drive towards economic self-reliance, but will also enhance the energy security of our two countries whose destinies are inextricably linked,” Lyonpo said and took the opportunity to convey the deepest gratitude of the Government and people of Bhutan to the Government and people of India for the unflinching support to our hydropower as well as overall socio-economic programme.

“Bhutan is proud that the friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India is today a shining example of relations between neighbors,” Lyonpo added.

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