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SAARC Diary: Construction on the Kholongchhu Hydroelectric Power Project in Trashiyangtse is due to begin soon.

SAARC Diary: Construction on the Kholongchhu Hydroelectric Power Project in Trashiyangtse is due to begin soon.


NEW DELHI, Mar 10: Contracts for the construction of the Kholongchhu Hydroelectric Power Project in Bhutan were awarded by the Project Management at a total cost of Nu./Rs. 202.763 billion.

The Indian High Commission in Thimpu stated, “M/s Rigsar Construction Pvt Ltd is one of the companies in Bhutan that has been awarded a major contract worth Nu./Rs. 4.346 billion through a joint venture with an Indian firm. The contract also stipulates that a minimum of 20% of the entire work (Nu./Rs. 40 billion) be offloaded to local Bhutanese contractors, which will assist in technology and skill growth.”

The Kholongchhu Hydropower Project is the first joint venture project under the Inter-governmental Agreement on Joint Venture Hydropower Project Development, which was signed in April 2014. In June 2020, the Royal Government of Bhutan and the project developer, Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited (KHEL), signed a concession agreement for the project.

The Kholongchhu Hydropower Project will be Bhutan’s seventh hydropower project to be funded by the Indian government. The project is being funded on a 70:30 debt-to-equity basis, with the debt being raised by a joint venture company and the equity being split evenly between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam ltd and Druk Green Power Corporation. The project is scheduled to be completed by March, 2026.

Bhutan receives a grant of Nu./Rs. 1.204 billion from the Indian government for main development projects.

Ruchira Kamboj the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan handed a cheque of Nu. 1.204 billion to Dr Tandi Dorji, Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bhutan on 10 March 2021 for the smooth running of various development projects in Bhutan. Health, Education, Culture, Cottage and Small Industry Development, Livestock Enterprise Development, and Infrastructure are among the sectors where these projects are being implemented. This grant is part of the Government of India’s Project Tied Assistance (PTA) commitment to the Royal Government of Bhutan under the 12th Five Year Plan.

Bhutan with the help of India has initiated a health flagship initiative to tackle gastric, cervical, and breast cancer.

Dasho Dechen Wangmo, Bhutan’s Health Minister, unveiled the Health Flagship programme at the Eastern Regional Referral Hospital in Mongar on Wednesday. This is one of the Royal Government of Bhutan’s nine flagship projects under the 12th Five-Year Plan. The Government of India is funding the flagship programme with Nu./Rs. 1.109 billion through its Project Tied Assistance (PTA) to Bhutanese.

The Indian High Commission in Thimpu in a release stated, “India has promised a financial commitment of Nu./Rs. 45 billion to Bhutan’s 12th Five-Year Plan, which includes Nu./Rs. 28 billion in Project Tied Assistance, Nu./Rs. 8.5 billion in assistance for High Impact Community Development Programs, and Nu./Rs. 8.5 billion in Program Grant assistance. To lessen the impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic, early releases of Nu./Rs. 5.01 billion have been made available by India. By June 2023, the project will be completed.

India – Nepal: Reconstruction of Dharmashala Temple Launched

Namgya C. Khampa, Deputy Chief of the Indian Embassy in Nepal and Sushil Gyawali, Chief Executive Officer of the Government of Nepal’s National Reconstruction Authority, laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of Dharmashala at Budhanilkantha Temple in Kathmandu on Thursday.

The reconstruction of Dharmashala at Budhanilkantha is the third of 28 cultural heritage conservation and restoration projects being undertaken by the Indian High Commission in Kathmandu, with a budget of NRs 5800 million committed by the Indian government for the cultural heritage sector.

India has partnered with Nepal on cultural heritage preservation projects and share a long cultural history and a cultural heritage to pass on to future generations. The Mathadhish building for Budhaneelkantha temple was completed in November 2019 under India’s development cooperation scheme at a cost of NR. 22 million.

In Gorkha District, India constructs Shree Himalaya Secondary School.

On March 10, 2021, Karun Bansal, Head of Administration, Embassy of India to Nepal, District Coordination Committee, Gorkha, along with local representatives inaugurated the new building of Shree Himalaya Secondary School, Shahid Lakhan Rural Municipality-6, Ghairung in Gorkha District, which has been built with Government of India financial assistance of NRs. 43.31 million.

Since 2003, India has undertaken over 520 High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal, completing 446 of them, including 50 in Province 4 and seven in Gorkha District. In Province-4, four projects sponsored by the Indian government are in various stages of completion or implementation. In addition, the Indian Embassy has donated 12 ambulances to various health posts and non-governmental organisations in Gorkha District.

Under the Government of India’s reconstruction grant assistance to Nepal, a total of 71 educational institutions are being established across Nepal’s eight earthquake-affected districts. Seven of these schools are located in Gorkha, with three of them being completed and inaugurated by India’s Foreign Secretary in November 2020. The remaining four schools are also being worked on. In addition, India is rebuilding 30 earthquake-damaged hospitals in Gorkha.

The new building of the Co-operative Promotion Centre in Lalitpur District is inaugurated by the Deputy Chief of the Indian Embassy.

Ms Namgya C. Khampa, Deputy Chief of the Indian Embassy in Nepal, inaugurated the new Co-operative Promotion Centre building for District Co-operative Union Limited Lalitpur, which was established with NRs. 35 million in funding from the Government of India. Madhav Dulal, Chairman of the Co-operative Union Limited, Lalitpur, and Uday Rana, former Minister of Finance, Government of Nepal were present during the occasion.

Nepal has India as a steadfast and growth partner. Through this initiative, the Indian Embassy supports the Nepalese government’s efforts to develop infrastructure in the agriculture marketing sector. India has also trained 59 agriculture scientists, farmers, and policymakers in the areas of organic farming, soil testing, and fertiliser research in India’s premier agriculture centres in New Delhi over the last two years. In Nepal b both governments are working to develop model veterinary hospitals and veterinary laboratories.

(Ventakesh Iyer)



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