People look forward to Sunkosh project

April 29 | Kuensel
By Rinchen Zangmo, Drujeygang

At the public consultation meeting about the Sunkosh reservoir hydroelectric project in Drujeygang, Dagana last week, locals expressed enthusiasm about the development of the project despite the loss of agricultural land and forest.

The 2,585MW project is going to be the biggest in the country and is expected to boost the economy with estimated yearly revenue of about Nu 30 billion.

One of the attendees, Karma, said that he had heard about the Sunkosh project decades ago. “We are excited about the project as it would create opportunities for our people and eventually bring development.”

Dzongdag Phintsho Choden said that it was important to understand about the project. “Although there will be difficulties, it is certainly going to benefit the dzongkhag.” There were policies and systems in place to address their issues, she added.

Another attendee, Namgay, said: “It was nice to hear that employment opportunities would be available.”

Chief engineer with the Department of Hydropower and Power Systems, Ugyen, said that after the completion of the detailed project report (DPR), the meeting had to be conducted as part of the project for environment clearances. “It is important for the people to be aware about such a project as it would affect the people.”

As the scale of the project was huge, he said that the expertise and human resource involved was also huge. “So every work needed to be done step by step which was why it took a long time.”

According to the presentation made at the meeting, a main dam and a regulating dam would be built. The main dam is to be built in Karmaling gewog and regulating dam near Lhamoyzingkha town.

Of over 11,000 acres of land required for the project, more than 9,000 acres is state reserved forestland; about 2,000 acres is private land.

The project is likely to take about nine years to complete.

Population and Housing Census of Bhutan 2017 listed Dagana as the poorest dzongkhag.

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