Sunkosh HEP revised


In a bid to generate 10,000 MW of electricity by 2020, Bhutan and India have jointly ventured to harness Sunkosh river at Kalikhola (Lamoizhingkha) estimated earlier to be of 4,060 MW installed capacity.

An empowered joint  group comprising officials from both the countries met in New Delhi yesterday to finalize the actual feasible capacity of Sunkosh. It is agreed to downsize it to 2560 MW.

The whole plant of electricity generation will not have the irrigation component now, informed Dasho Sonam Tshering  from New Delhi.

At the installed capacity of 4060 MW, it was estimated to have the largest dam (265m high) with largest artificial lake to be formed in Bhutan, running 52 km upstream from the dam site.

Eight gewogs of Dagana, Tashiding, Tsendagang,Sunkosh town, Lamoizingkha, Nichula,Barsong and Rangthaling  were expected to be directly affected by the project, according to an earlier study by Indian council of forestry research and education.

People in Deorali, Nichula and Kalikhola are rather happy to see the development of such magnitude in their locality.

“There is already a boom in the land prices of our village”, a resident of Katarey, Nichula told the Kuensel.

“We are hopeful that we can sell our agriculture and dairy produce just across Sunkosh”, said  an elderly village man over the telephone. ‘We might not have to carry it far down on our back’, he hoped.

In Deorali, some villagers who had gone out to urban areas for better living are returning to their homesteads because of the prospect of thriving business and other income generation activities along the fair-weather road of  Kerabari and Kalikhola.

The Sunkosh project was initially signed between the two countries, with a parameter of maximizing the benefit  to  local people, and giving them the opportunity of shareholding  in the development thereof. Whether or not such consideration for sharing the benefit to  local people be upheld is a matter of concern.


  1. Does Bhutan really need such mega projects? Construction of such mega projects will adversely affect Bhutan’s fragile mountain system and destroy ecology. Can you imagine how many trees, plants, birds and animals will be wiped out and how many dynamites will be used to blast the underground construction? Bhutan is not able to use even the electricity produced by Chukha hydro project, it is being exported to India. The Bhutanese parliament must discuss the pros and cons of constructing such huge projects being built up at the cost of nation’s ecology and environment, human displacement and loss of lands. No, Bhutan does not need such projects.

  2. This can be a good step Bhutan has taken towards development, if it has already found an optimal price of this energy. In the rise of global price of the petroleum products, harnessing water resources for power generation is certainly a laudable step for Bhutan. However, more importantly, the Bhutanese must have already settled other very pressing issues like the rate at which India will buy after its production. Also Bhutan should study other issues with their Indian counterparts so that they will not succumb to the shrewd Indians politicians.
    Bhutan has been continually adopting the same model of development since 1958 when Nehru had visited the country. India, at the same time has also benefitted by its leading role in Bhutan’s development in many ways. This is the main reason why India will never turn its ears to the Bhutanese refugee issue. However, this type of development is not the kind of development modern people opt for. Real Sovereignty does not exist in Bhutan as they have to follow what India approves. Bhutan, as we all know is only a buffer state of India. This is the real reason why India actually instigated the JSW regime to orchestrate ethnic cleansing of the South Bhutanese in south Bhutan. India has foreseen that it can have similar situation with Bhutan as it has with Nepal if there is a larger presence of the Nepali origin Bhutanese.
    But, in case the Bhutanese had increased say on the Bhutan’s development modality, sustenable development could certainly be achieved by utilising the huge natural resources within its territory. Bhutan must have already studied the pros and cons of having this huge project. The Bhutanese regime should also think about the disadvantage of the construction of modern roads through remote villages where many international mafiahs can infilterate inside the country and help flourish the foreign religion, culture and tradition. This has not only an economic bearing, but also can go a long way through towards further dismantling the Bhutanese structure of already vulnerable existence.
    So, Bhutanese with their Wangchuck monarchies should be cautioned about their being oblivious of the expansionist strategy of modern India. Did the Govt of Bhutan truly consult Bhutanese people at large? Is Bhutanese general public capable to understand the pros and cons of such a mega construction and the presence of a huge number of foreigners in their land? Does Bhutan have all the required infrastructure ready to regulate the immigration of foreigners in that scale? Does Bhutan government have all the data of foreign traffic that it will have to entertain?
    Best wishes to the govt and people of Bhutan.

  3. Bhutanese says well but the following point needs clarification:

    The Bhutanese regime should also think about the disadvantage of the construction of modern roads through remote villages where many international mafiahs can infilterate inside the country and help flourish the foreign religion, culture and tradition.

    What is meant by foreign religion, culture and tradition? Which religion or idea becomes so “foreign” for Bhutan and the Bhutanese? If the Bhutanese on their own decide to adopt anything better than the traditionally inherited way of life, why should they be barred from doing so? This is really UNDEMOCRATIC statement and harmful to the Bhutanese sentiments and liberty of choice.