PHPA I- needs urgent Third-Party Review: NC

Following divergent views of National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) and Central Water Commission (CWC), the project’s civil engineering consultant, there had been a lot of contention on how the Punatsangchu-I will proceed.

As per the Budget 2020 document P-I hydroelectric project (1,200 MW) is expected to be commissioned in March, 2025 with revised estimated cost of Nu 93.755 bn. The project had started back in 2008 with a budget allocation of 35 bn.

However, the construction of dam is made contingent on completion of right bank stabilization measures, which is still under discussion with Government of India. Alternatively, the Government of India is also exploring a barrage option if the stabilization measures are found impractical.

As of March, 2020, Nu 79.453 bn has been disbursed and 86.65 percent of the works have been completed.

Eminent member Tashi Wangyel of the National Council House on Thursday said that there was an immediate need for a third-party review before the deciding on completely closing the project.

He said that the house had recommended the same during the previous government’s reign but the contractors were unsupportive of it.

Following inspections circulating around the right bank to construct a dam, NC’s Finance and economic committee chairperson Ugyen Tshering stated that due to the divergent views between the CWC and NHPC it was necessary that there was a third party to review the project’s stability, to which MP Nima later added that the review should be done by Third-country expert and not by experts from Bhutan or India.

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