Neten Dorji

Trashiyangtse—Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay announced during his visit to Trashiyangtse yesterday that the construction of the Kholongchu Hydropower Project is set to commence soon.

The 600MW run-of-the-river project located in Trashiyangtse is expected to produce approximately 2,568.88 million units of electricity annually.

This project was initiated with the laying of the foundation stone by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Bhutan on June 16, 2014.

Prime Minister said: “I have discussed the budget for the construction of KHEL with the government of India and spoken with the chairman of TATA company regarding their involvement in the project during the recent state visit.”

He added that the chairman also agreed to visit the sites, and he will closely follow up on this project.

He said that once the KHEL project commences in Trashiyangtse, it would address the prevailing issues in the town. “I don’t want to delve into regionalisms. I will work as one government for all.”

During the visit, residents of Doksum also raised their concerns and inquired if the government could facilitate the construction of a school and Basic Health Unit for the town. They highlighted the necessity for basic amenities in the area.

Kinley, a resident of the town, said: “We lack access to clean drinking water and other essential facilities in the town. We would greatly appreciate it if the government could address this pressing issue.”

Another resident, Tashi Tshering, inquired whether the government could permit the construction of a three-story residential building in the town.

The Prime minister said that the government would explore the feasibility of this request once the KHEL project commences in the region.

“The government will try to address policy-related issues; however, it is imperative for the business communities to exert efforts towards economic recovery,” he said. “If you are committed to enhancing the economy, we will provide support through budget allocations.”

In Trashigang, the Prime Minister urged people to unite in enhancing the country’s economy. He stressed the importance of collaborative efforts to revive the economy, particularly within the framework of the 13th Plan.

“The 13th Plan presents us with an opportunity to bolster the economy. It’s not indicative of us falling behind, but rather a critical juncture for economic advancement. If we fail to seize this opportunity, we risk being too late to take action,” said the Prime Minister, urging civil servants to think innovatively.

Highlighting the urgency for Trashigang to elevate its economic status, the Prime Minister outlined plans to attract more tourists to the eastern region. He shared with people government intentions to either upgrade the existing Yonphula airport or explore the feasibility of constructing a new one.

“I am committed to promoting tourism overall, but it’s also incumbent upon you to collaborate with tour operators to boost tourism. The government stands ready to assist if there is genuine interest in promoting it,” the Prime Minister said.