Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Our Rivers of Doom IV

According to French intelligence, just before 9/11, the US told the Taliban that they would either get “a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs” - the former if they agreed to allow the US to run an oil pipeline through their land and, the later, if they did not.

That was in 2001 when oil was the most important resource. It was so important that US Congressman Ed Markey had no qualms in declaring publicly over MSNBC TV:

“Well, we are in Libya because of oil” 


Fourteen years since, things have changed dramatically. Now and in future, water, and not oil, will become the world’s most important resource.

Therefore, preserving and safeguarding our water resources is critical. Our very survival may depend on it. Shackling our entire river systems with close to hundred hydro-power dams will cause us to bind our hands to the pillar of debt so completely that we will forever remain tethered to it. Already, with only five hydro-power projects we are upto our eyeballs in debt that we have to begin to wonder how we are ever going to be able to pay back the loans. If that is not enough, we are thinking of aggravating the situation even further - by embarking on new projects and, that too, with the disastrous financing model of 70:30.

There appears to be a sense of chivalry associated with doing the hydro-power projects with India. There is this feeling among some Bhutanese that we are doing it to help India meet her power deficit. Nothing could be further from the truth!

With an estimated 148 GW or 148,000 MW of proven hydroelectric potential, India ranks 5th highest in the world in terms of hydro-power potential. As of now, India has in excess of 41,000 MW of installed hydro-power capacity while an additional 13,000 MW is at different stages of completion.

Just across the border in the neighboring Arunachal Pradesh alone, India is planning 15 more hydro-power projects that is expected to generate a total of 2,800 MW of electricity. Many, many similar projects are planned in different states of India.

Thus, it is nothing more than a myth that India is investing in our rivers to generate electricity. They do not need to.

At this moment in history, the question that should be pertinent is: What happens to all the electricity generated from our planned 80 projects - once India achieves even 50% of her potential?

Think about it.


  1. I don't want to think about it, it's very scary!

  2. There are invisible forces at play...and we should help them reveal themselves..

  3. Somehow, we Bhutanese have succeeded in completely getting ourselves entrapped under the muscular arms of our Big Indian brother - economically & politically! Sometimes, I feel like we are sitting on a ticking time bomb!