Thimphu, August 9: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a state visit to Bhutan, the Himalayan neighbour to India in northeast, next week. The official two-day visit will be embarked upon by the PM on August 17. He is scheduled to return to India on August 18. The itenary of Modi includes inauguration of Mangdechhu hydropower project apart from bilateral talks with counterpart Lotay Tshering.
The Mangdechhu project, built with aide from India, is located on river Mangdechhu in Trongsa Dzongkhag district in Central Bhutan. The run-of-the-river project is expected to substantially raise the level of hydroelectric generation in Bhutan, from 1,490 megawatts at present to upto 10,000 MW in the near future. Former Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay Slams Indian Media For Airing Wrong Picture of His Successor Lotay Tshering
Agreement for the Mangdechhu project was inked between the Indian and Bhutanese side in April 2010. New Delhi has consistently supported the nation's efforts to increase in its hydroelectric exports. An assessment has revealed that the country has the potential to generate 30,000 MW of energy.
Apart from hydropower project, the Indian government has also cooperated with Bhutan in key development and infrastructure initiatives, including Penden cement plant, Paro airport and the Bhutan Broadcasting Station.
China, considered to be India's economic rival in South Asia, has also been attempting to woo Bhutan over the past couple of years. Thimphu, however, has so far remained a natural ally of India and had also backed the latter during the Doklam territorial row in 2017.