During the 10th five year plan the Government of India (GoI) provided Rupee or Rs 1.5 bn for commissioning the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of nine mega projects. DPR is an essential component of a hydro project as a detailed study of the project is done only after which construction starts.
The Rs 1.5bn does not include the billions already being pumped into the construction of Punatsangchu I and II and Mangdechu.
The figure came up as part of the discussions on the GoI Project-tied Assistance (PTA) in Bhutan’s 10th Five year plan during the fourth project monitoring committee discussed recently between a delegation from Ministry of External Affairs, India and Bhutanese government agencies.
The meeting was led by Secretary, Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) Karma Tshiteem and Director (north), ministry of external affairs, GoI Puneet R. Kundal.
A detailed project report (DPR) of all the concerned hydropower projects including status of the National Transmission Grid Development Master Plan (NTGMP) was presented during the meeting to the Indian delegation.
Status and Detailed project reports (DPR) of hydro electric projects namely, Mangdechu (672 MW), Punatsangchu II (992 MW), Chamkarchu I (Digala 670 MW), Kholongchu (Gomkora 486 MW), Sunkosh (4060 MW), Bunakha, Mocha, Kuri Gongri and Wangchu reservoirs were also presented during the last PMC meet.
Committed funds for all these DPR projects by GoI is to the tune of about INR 1.5bn of which more than 95% has already disbursed by GoI till date.
The amount disbursed for DPR studies are Rs 24.2 mn for Mangdechu, Rs 28.5 mn for Punatsangchu II, Rs 218.39 mn for Chamkarchu I, Rs 218.39 mn for Kholongchu, Rs 142.97 mn for Sunkosh, Rs 137.87 mn for Bunakha Reservoir, Rs 137.29 mn for Wangchu Reservoir, Rs 264.72 mn for Amochu and Rs 223.36 mn for Kuri Gongri.
While the DPR for Punatsangchu II and Mangdechu has been cleared the DPR for the other projects are either in the advance stage of clearance or are yet to be submitted and cleared by the CEA.
However, DPR for Kuri Gongri reservoir has been discontinued and a draft Preliminary Feasibility Report (PFR) was presented in May this year.
Over 10,000 MW potential has been planned to be harnessed by 2020 from 13 hydro projects and with this endeavor Bhutan has aimed to prepare a NTGMP by 2020 in the country to meet its load growth and to export huge surplus to India.
Central Electricity Authority (CEA), ministry of power, GoI was appointed by the RGoB as Consultant for preparation of the NTGMP.
Of the committed Rs 18mn for the preparation of NTGMP, GoI has till date disbursed Rs 25mn out of which the excess Rs 7mn is going to be re-prioritized. The expenditure incurred is about Rs 17.6mn.
The preliminary report has been submitted to department of energy (DOE) by the system planning and project appraisal division of CEA. Field visits have also been made by CEA to Bhutan and there was a discussion visit made by NTGMP task force members to CEA.
DOE officials said the draft report is under preparation by CEA while power sector capacity building and purchase of vital transmission software are pending.
The Punatsangchu I and II and Mangdechu which have all started construction are already receiving billions in construction funds. In the past few months itself Mangdechu has received Rs 1.6 bn, and P I and P II have received around Rs 10 bn between the two projects. More funds are expected to come in the coming months. This construction component of GoI’s assistance is not a part of the 10th plan and is in addition to the Rs 34 bn for the 10th plan.
The total 10,000 MW completion cost by 2020 is projected to be between Nu 500 bn to Nu 700 bn.
The total fund of GoI funding of Rs 34bn for the tenth plan is released in three categories of Rs 7bn for small development projects, Rs 7bn for programme assistance and INR 20nb for project-tied assistance.
The last disbursement of Rs 820 mn for project-tied assistance was made on June 6, this year.
The discussions were focused on progress of the released amount of Indian Rupee 15,536.508mn by GoI till date which is 78 percent of the total committed allocation of Rs 20bn.
GoI has set aside over Rs 26bn for projects in Bhutan in its 2012-13 budgets. Ever since the start of planned development in Bhutan the GoI has been Bhutan’s main developmental partner and donor.
“With their overall commitment of Rs 34bn to the 10th FYP, the GoI continues to be Bhutan’s largest development partner to date,” a press release from the GNH commission stated.