New power line from Bhutan in pipeline

New Delhi, August 5:

A transmission line from Bhutan to Assam will be built to serve as a “reliable alternative” to transmit power to India, the mountain kingdom’s national daily Kuensel reported on Friday. A 132 KV single circuit transmission line from Deothang in Samdrup Jongkhar to Rangiya in lower Assam will soon be built to transmit power from the Kurichhu Hydro Electric Plant to India, Chhewang Rinzin, Bhutan Power Corporation’s managing director, was quoted as saying. The Bhutan Power Corporation and the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) will jointly implement the project, an agreement for which was reached July 19.

According to Rinzin, the new transmission line will save the Kurichhu plant’s heavy losses.

“The plant suffered huge losses when it had to shut down its generation to allow the Salakati substation in Assam’s Bongaigaon district to carry (out) its annual maintenance,” he said.

The Salakati substation connects Kurichhu to the Indian grid. “Existing 248-km transmission line (Kurichhu-Nangkhor-Nganglam-Tingtibi-Gelephu-Salakati) passes through jungles of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary making it difficult to correct interruptions,” said Rinzin. He said the site inspection had been carried out and the construction is expected to begin in October when the monsoon ends. The project involves the construction of 14 km of transmission line from Deothang till Motanga within Bhutan and another 46 km on the Indian side till Rangiya.