India stands together with Bhutan in dealing with health, economic challenges: EAM Jaishankar

June 29, 2020: Terming India and Bhutan relationship as 'truly unique' External Affairs Minister Jaisankar on Monday said the two countries are fighting the coronavirus pandemic together .

DY365
DY365

June 29, 2020: Terming India and Bhutan relationship as 'truly unique' External Affairs Minister Jaisankar on Monday said the two countries are fighting the coronavirus pandemic together and assured that New Delhi stands with Thimphu in dealing with challenges post the global crisis.

The minister's remark came signing ceremony of Concession Agreement of 600 MW Kholongchhu JV-Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan. The agreement was signed between Bhutan government and Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited.

Jaishankar called the joint project as yet another milestone in "diverse" and "multi faceted bilateral cooperation" between the two neighboring countries.

"600 MW Kholongchhu JV-Hydroelectric project is the first joint venture to be implemented in Bhutan. I congratulate both Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) of Bhutan and Satluj Jala Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) of India for this feat and hope that they will leave no stone unturned in completing the project," the minister said at the ceremony he attended via video conferencing.

The 600 MW run-of-the river project is located in the lower course of the Kholongchhu River in Trashiyangtse District in Eastern Bhutan and it is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025.

Bhutan Foreign Minister Lyonpo Tandi Dorji, Bhutan Economic Affairs Minister Lyonpo Loknath Sharma and senior government officials including foreign secretaries of India and Bhutan also participated in the event.

During his remarks, Jaishankar expressed hope that the commencement of construction activities of the project will help to create economic and employment opportunities in Bhutan at this critical time when two countries are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our two countries are together to fight this global pandemic. The government of India has provided support , as it should, to Bhutan in terms of medical equipment, kits and medicines as part of our government of Bhutan's requirements. We have also ensured uninterrupted and essential goods to Bhutan despite the lockdown. India stands together with Bhutan in dealing with health and economic challenges post by this pandemic," he said.

Jaishankar  said that the special ties have not only benefitted the two nations but it has actually created an example for the world", he said.

"Bhutan and India have a truly unique relationship - one bound together by geography, history, culture, spiritual  traditions and countries - old people to people interaction. Our share values have shaped our common world view. The special ties have not only benefitted   our two nations, it has actually created an example for the world," he said.

"One of  two neighbours  living and working together with great comfort between them to a shared welfare and growth and bound by deep friendship. Our time tested relations, which are characterized by so much understanding and trust have matured over the years," he added.

Speaking further, the minister said: "it has sustained by a tradition of high-level visits and dialogues between our two countries. Most recently  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had undertaken a state visit to Bhutan on August 17-18, 2019. During the visit, the two Prime Minister had formally inaugurated 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project."

Jaishankar  emphasized that the hydropower sector has been the most visible symbol of  mutually benefitted bilateral cooperation between two countries.

"Recently, completed Mangdechhu Hydroelectric power project has brought the Government of India assisted installed capacity to more than 21000 MW. We are in a process of expediting  the completion of other ongoing projects," he said.

 

 

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