India-Bhutan: HEP Issues

Bhutan concerns on Indian projects
  • Bhutan wants more focus of India on issues like hydropower project constructions.
  • According to Bhutanese experts, Hydropower projects are critical for the Bhutanese economy and are at the core of Bhutan’s plans for self-reliance ever since the first five-year plans in 1961
Rising Debt of Bhutan:
  • As of July 2017, Bhutan’s debt to India for the three major ongoing projects: Mangdechhu, Punatsangchhu 1 and 2 is approximately 12,300 crore which accounts for 77% of the country’s total debt, and is 87% of its GDP
  • The cost of the 720 MW Mangdechhu project has nearly doubled in the past two years
  • Both Punatsangchhu 1 and 2, each of 1200 MW capacity have trebled in cost and been delayed more than five years over the original completion schedule
Indian Government stance:
  • The Indian government is looking at the proposals of the hydropower committee of Bhutan
  • But accepted that it would be difficult to meet many of them, given India’s own power sector needs to compete in the same area



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