Sounding The Hydropower Projects’ Death Knell

It has been four long years; it has taken 54 blistering articles at an average of over one article a month! I was the lone crusader ranting away like a man possessed – lamenting at the destruction that continues to be caused by a disaster named “hydropower”.

The deafening silence from the powers that be, in the face of my relentless unraveling of the many ills associated with Bhutan’s hydropower projects, would have discouraged the most zealous of Judean zealots. And yet, I never faltered – I kept on unabated. And now it seems like I can finally take a break – it appears that the moment of awakening is upon us. Look at what The Bhutanese reported in their paper of 10th November, 2018.

For the record, I am not against hydropower – I have never been. I was, and am, against the manner in which they have been done in recent times. I am fully cognizant of the huge potential that hydropower offers Bhutan. Sadly all that we have managed to do so far is turn this potential into a tool of economic bondage and financial enslavement.

I am glad that finally the realization has dawned upon us.

I am also glad that 2 out of 6 of our River Basins will be kept free of hydropower projects: Chamkharchu andAmochu River Basins. You may recall that I had petitioned on keeping Chamkharchu free of hydropower dams and free-flowing.

I do not really care about Amochu – in fact I think we should go ahead and do Amochu hydropower project. From my point of view, Amochu hydropower project would be the most profitable, and environmentally least destructive – but I think I know why it won’t be done. And I respect that. I also agree that we should do the Sunkosh project.

I salute the Hydropower Committee Members – whoever they are – who have made the recommendations to go slow and smart on hydropower projects and for asking that two of our River Basins be kept free of hydropower projects. It is about time! Posterity will record them as heroes and future generations of Bhutanese will remember them fondly for their service to the nation.

 

Obeisance be to His Majesty the King.

Thank you!

 

The writer is a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Thimphu. His is also a Paul Harris Fellow. Currently he serves as the Club Secretary for RY 2017-2018. By Profession, Yeshey is a photographer.

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