Lessons From Doklam: India Needs Hydropower To Keep Bhutan On Its Side

Lessons From Doklam: India Needs Hydropower To Keep Bhutan On Its Side
In May 2014, when Narendra Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, the delegation from invitee country Bhutan was more than delighted. Bhutan Foreign Minister Rinzin Dorji was reported saying, “Narendra Modi is a prime minister who delivers. From the interaction, we could sense he has concerns for Bhutan and the region. The PM also expressed concerns on why the implementation of Bhutan’s hydropower projects was delayed.”

Subsequently, India signed an agreement to build four new hydropower projects, totalling 2,120 Mw, in Bhutan. In a month after that, Modi went to Bhutan and laid the foundation stone for the 600-Mw Kholongchu hydropower project, a joint-venture between India and Bhutan. The other three were under pre-construction activity back then. Things seemed to be moving fast but actually, they are slower than initially envisaged.

During the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, India and Bhutan signed two major agreements to jointly develop 10,000 Mw of hydropower in Bhutan by 2020. Under the agreement, the governments of Bhutan and India would oversee financing through a 30 per cent grant and 70 per cent commercial loan scheme. At India’s insistence, it was given 50 per cent ownership in four major power projects totalling 1,480 Mw. Read More…
Credit By: Business Standard

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