|Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the 600-MW Kholongchu hydro-electric project, a joint venture between India and Bhutan.|
The foundation stone was laid by Modi electronically from the courtyard of Bhutan's Parliament building after addressing a joint session.
Three hydro-electric projects totalling 1,416 MW (Chukha, Tala and Kurichu) are already operational. Three more projects [Punatsangchu I (1,200 MW), Punatsangchu II (1,020 MW) and Mangdechu (720 MW)] are under construction.
They are scheduled to be commissioned in 2017-18.
In April, 2014, the two countries had signed a framework agreement on four more joint venture model hydro-electric projects totalling 2,120 MW. Of these, pre-construction activities for the 600 MW Kholongchu HEP as a joint venture model project between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) will commence soon.
"Our hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of winówin cooperation," an Indian official said, adding that "the hydropower projects generate export revenues for Bhutan, cement our economic partnership and provide clean and low-cost electricity to India."
Modi had arrived on 16 June 2014 on his first foreign trip after assuming office last month.