India commits to help Bhutan, by all means
Fostering Indo-Bhutan pre-independence close and strong relationship to a new height, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday during his two-day official visit to the landlocked Bhutan announced a number of measures seeking further to deepen the ties between the two neighbours.
Taking the honour of being first foreign leader to address the first democratic Parliament of Bhutan, Dr. Singh willingly expressed India's readiness to help the Himalayan Kingdom with every possible infrastructural, political, and economic assistance in making the region more secure and prosperous.
Recalling India's close economic and strategic relationship with Bhutan during his meeting with the young king and the first PM Jigmi Y Thinley, Dr. Singh pledged Bhutan to substantially enhance its contribution to this landlocked kingdom.
Taking into consideration the nascent elected government's greatest desire to deliver health, education, and infrastructure to the people of Bhutan, the Prime Minister committed to help more in during its 10th five year plan. India had contributed to the tune of Rs 2,600 crore to Bhutan's 9th five-year plan. With New Delhi's initiative, the Himalayan Kingdom had launched its First Five Year Economic Development Plan in 1961. Its first and second Five Year Economic Development Plan (1962-67) were completely funded by India.
The Year-2008 holds great significance for both- the world's largest and the youngest democracies owing to its bearing the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Wangchuk dynasty in Bhutan and the 50the anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru's, the India's first Prime Minister, visit to the Himalayan Kingdom. Apart from that the Year marks the Bhutan's transition from constitutional monarchy to the complete democracy.
Shiv Shankar Menon, India's Foreign Secretary while briefing the media quoted Dr. Manmohan Singh as saying, “To mark the year, we commit to building the railway line into Bhutan.”
Dr. Singh said India committed to construct a rail link with Bhutan to improve connectivity between the two countries. Work on developing 20-odd kilometers of railways connecting Hashimara in West Bengal and Phuntsholing in Bhutan will begin soon.
Marking 50th anniversary of the Nehru visit to the Himalayan Kingdom, Prime Minister said India will institute a Nehru-Wangchuk Scholarship to foster students from Bhutan to study in Indian Universities and institutions.
Shiv Shankar Menon stated that the India and Bhutan also committed to double the joint target the two countries had set for hydroelectricity generation from various projects in the Himalayan Kingdom. Surprisingly, Bhutan government itself evinced keen desire to enhance the hydro-electricity production target from 5,000 mw to 10,000 mw in 2020.
To achieve the target, Dr. Singh said the experts would work out the feasibility and modalities involved in the process.
Being the largest donor of foreign aid to Bhutan, India in return get the benefit of importing surplus generation from the nearly 1400 MW hydroelectric power produced annually in Bhutan from the Chukka, Kurichhu, and Tala hydroelectric projects.
Dr. Manmohan Singh will dedicate the Tala hydel power project on Saturday and lay the foundation stone for the Punatsanchhu-I project. He also said India will work with Bhutan to develop two new mega hydro-power projects, Punatsangchhu-II and Mangdechhu.
Read More: Bhutan | Delhi | Kheri Bhutan | Tala | Kota Shiv Pratap Singh | Nehru Rd. Baraut | Nehru Nagar,beawar | Adrim Ka Tala | Burhan Ka Tala | Gohar Ka Tala | Gumane Ka Tala | Bhutan Hiparga | Nehru Bazar (piler) So | Nehru Nagar(guntur) | Bellary Nehru Colony | Belgaum Nehru Nagar | Nipani Nehru Chowk Ndtso | Tala Po | Sonamukhi Rath Tala | Manir Tala Bo | Fri | Manmohan Singh
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