New Indian Ambassador to Bhutan Visits First Joint Hydropower Project
13 August 2014
Mr. Gautam Bambawale, recently appointed Ambassador of India to Bhutan, visited Chhukha Hydropower Plant—the first joint project between India and Bhutan—during his first two weeks in office.
Calling the hydropower plant "an abiding symbol between India and Bhutan partnership," Ambassador Bambawale emphasized India-Bhutan relations, and talked about both country's readiness to provide assistance to each other, "in whatever way and within capacity."
Power trade between Bhutan and India is one of the many areas of cooperation between the two countries. Chhukha Hydropower Project was funded by the Government of India in 1973 and inaugurated in 1988 by then India President R. Venkataraman, in the presence of Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. In 2008, the plant became an operational unit under control of Druk Green Corporation.
Bhutan’s economic growth is driven by a capital-intensive hydropower sector. To date, ADB has financed development of Bhutan's Dagachhu hydropower plant through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Green Power Development Project, which also exports power to India and is managed by Druk Green Corporation.
Ambassador Bambawale plans to visit other Bhutan-India joint projects, particularly hydropower projects, during his assignment to Bhutan.