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Accolades for Mangdecchu HEP

By Tshering Dema

Further cementing Bhutan’s efforts in developing safe and reliable energy sources, the Bhutan-India joint Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project reduces 2.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, enhancing on the country’s Carbon negative status.

On Thursday this week, the new Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project in Trongsa was conferred with the Brunel Medal awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), London.

The award is given as a mark of excellence in civil engineering within the industry and was handed over by the Indian ambasador to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj to Chairman of the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority, economic affairs minister Lyonpo Loknath Sharma.

One of the reasons the Mangdechhu project was awarded was because of its social and environmental credentials. India Ambasador Ruchira Kamboj said: “The project will reduce 2.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Bhutan and India in the past have collectively resolved to increase the hydropower energy capacity of Bhutan to 12000 MW”.

She added that India seeks to partner with Bhutan in renewable energy generation, solar, wind. As climate responsible developing country, India has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change she said.

The Brunel Medal is historically given to major projects and organizations from across the world. 2020 edition of the prize went to the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project – a collaboration between Indian and Bhutanese governments.

Pointing to revenue generation of Rs. 21,932.2 million, Economic Affairs minister Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Bhutan’s Economic Affairs minister who is also the Chairman, Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority) said it was done with the best engineering. “We will continue to do well, continue to cooperate in this field.”

The 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his August 2019 visit to the country. The project produces 720MW of clean electricity for millions and provides an additional 44% of electrical power generation on the hydro generation capacity of Bhutan.

The project has created more than 500 new jobs in Bhutan and schools and health facilities benefited from upgraded infrastructures such as drinking water facilities and irrigation channels. The event coincided with the Indian embassy in Bhutan’s Special Week on India at 75 being celebrated in Thimphu from August 2-9.

Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly conducted a consultative meeting with Bumthang and Trongsa Dzongkhag administration and Gewogs and Tangsibji Hydro Energy Ltd. This week to review and get updates on the unresolved financial irregularities as reported in the Annual Audit Report 2020.

Out of the nine Dzongkhag’s irregularities reported in Annual Audit Report 2020, the highest numbers of irregularities were of Trongsa Dzongkhag and Gewogs.

Apart from the earlier practice of fixing direct accountability, the meeting discussed on the way forward to impose supervisory accountability on Dzongdags and Gups, wherein Audit Clearance Certificate won’t be issued to Dzongdags and Gups in case of failure to perform their supervisory roles in their respective jurisdictions.

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