Bhutan,May 16:India today committed to build a rail link with Bhutan to improve connectivity between the two countries. To begin with, a 20-odd kilometres of railways connecting Hashimara in West Bengal and Phuntsholing in Bhutan will commence soon.
Briefing media persons Friday about Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Mr L J Thinley at Thimpu, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said that both sides were confident to implement the project for mutual benefits.
In another major decision, India and Bhutan have decided to double the target of hydro-power production from 5,000 mW to 10,000 mW by 2020. Mr Menon said, new power projects would be explored apart from strenthening the existing ones. Dr Singh would dedicate the 1,020 mW Tala Hydro-Electric Project on Saturday and would also lay the foundation stone of a 1,095 mW Punat-Sangchhu Hydro Project.
The Bhutanese Government has assured New Delhi that it would not allow its territory be used by elements inimical to India. AIR correspondent Shailesh Vyas reports that Royal Bhutan Army undertook successful operations in 2003-2004 to evict Indian resurgent groups based in Bhutan.
The Prime Minister also received an audience with the present King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and discussed issues of mutual interest.