Bhutan PM to hold talks with Manmohan Singh

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{image-manmohan singh_16072008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Jul 16: Bhutan's first democratically elected Prime Minister, Jigmi Y. Thinley, will meet his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Wednesday, July 16 and hold discussions on a wide range of issues.

Issues like border management, security, cooperation in hydropower, health and tourism are expected to be considered during the meeting. Both the leaders are likely to hold discussion on developing Tala Hydropower Project to India and Bhutan. The Tala power project, which was commissioned on March 30, 2007, is expected to further boost the tapping of the estimated 30,000-megawatt of hydro-power resources that Bhutan possesses.

As of now the identified techno-commercially feasible potential is about 23,500 megawatt out which only 1488 megawatt installed capacity is exploited at present. After completion, the project will generate 4,865 million units of power in an average year. It would also provide 1122 megawatt of peaking power throughout the year. Surplus power generated from the project will be exported to India through 400 KV transmission lines to a pooling point in Siliguri, and from there to India''s Eastern and Northern Grids.

Thinley will also call on President Pratibha Patil and Vice-President Hamid Ansari. He will also meet External Affairs Minster Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani. Thinley, who arrived here on a four-day visit, yesterday met Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and held discussions, related to the hydropower and tourism sectors.

He also met Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Thinley is accompanied by a high-level delegation including Foreign Affairs Minister Ugyen Tshering, Economic Affairs Minister Khandu Wangchuk and Finance Minister Wangdi Norbu.

ANI

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