Tuesday, March 31, 2015

‘Not a Single Neighbour That India Doesn't Have a Problem With': National Security Advisor of India Mr. Ajit Doval

Recently our firebrand Blogger Wangcha Sangey of Haa posted a withering article that supposes a number of assumptions behind the abrupt stoppage of the construction of a number of critically important roads in the Southern parts of the country.


I agree with all of the points raised in that article. Given India’s monumental paranoia about China, the road connectivity to Samtse is bound to be perceived as a threat to India’s security. Until India sheds her inferiority complex in relation to China and learns to have faith in her own greatness, Bhutan will continue to suffer.

Samtse’s proximity to the “chicken-neck” area at the tri-junction of Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan, is its undoing. It is also for this reason that India will never do the Amochu Hydropower Project - in India’s view the proposed project has two problems with it: it is too close to the "chicken-neck" area and, of all the hydropower projects that have been planned and executed so far, the Amochu Hydropower Project will be the most profitable for Bhutan and that, fellow Drups, is not in the scheme of India’s long term strategy.

Take a look at the following map to understand and sympathize with India and why she behaves the way she does - at the possibility of a all-season highway reaching Samtse.

Mr. Wangcha Sangey of Haa needs to think on another issue that bewilders me. I can understand India’s paranoia concerning the road that leads up to the chicken-neck areas. But what is India’s interest in the Shingkhar-Gorgan highway?

I am told that recently DANTAK and RGoB officials numbering close to 20 people, led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, visited Shingkhar in Bumthang to survey the areas. It is my belief that it has to do with the reported resumption of the construction of the infamous Shingkhar-Gorgan highway. I had reported about a similar survey conducted by DANTAK from Gorgan side, in conjunction with the CDCL people – read my post “Where In The Name of DANTAK Is This Road? – II” dated November 14, 2014:

Our Prime Minister recently returned from USA with promises of millions of dollars based on our commitment to conserve and preserve our environment. The Shingakhar-Gorgan highway is a meaningless road, does not benefit the Bhutanese people in any way and will cause huge environmental disaster. As far as Bhutan is concerned, this highway is NOT needed and its construction goes against every law and has the potential to cause grave damage to our reputation as a champion of environmental conservation. How will Bhutan justify to partners around the world - why an environmentally disastrous road that cuts through a national park and has no social or economic benefit to the Bhutanese people, is a useful and necessary endeavor? Is this the way we demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship, in whose cause we seek funding from the world community?