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October 25, 2020

From LPG to space: PM unveils slew of projects in Bhutan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Bhutan on a two-day state visit.

Increasing clean fuel supply, launch of Rupay card, foreign currency swap arrangement and enhancing cooperation in science and education sectors were among the major assistance announced by Prime Minister Modi at a joint press meet held with his counterpart Lotay Tshering on Saturday in Thimpu.

This is Modi’s second visit to Bhutan and the first since his re-election.

Here are some of the glimpses of his visit on Day 1.

Photographs: @MEAIndia/Twitter; Press Information Bureau


IMAGE: Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering received PM Modi at the Paro airport. “I am extremely grateful to @PMBhutan for welcoming me at the airport. His gesture is deeply touching,” Modi tweeted.

IMAGE: A sign board installed to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his arrival at Paro International Airport.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Modi also received a red-carpet welcome. “A memorable welcome in Bhutan! This is a land blessed with natural beauty and wonderful people. There is immense enthusiasm here and the people of Bhutan want to see the India-Bhutan friendship scale newer heights of success,” the prime minister said..

IMAGE: Waving the Indian tricolour, people lined up along the route from Paro to the capital city Thimphu to welcome Modi.

IMAGE: Modi inspected a guard of honour during his ceremonial welcome at Tashichhodzong Palace, where he exchanged views with Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on taking the “exemplary” India-Bhutan partnership forward.

IMAGE: Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering held wide ranging talks during which they discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors as the two countries inked 10 MoUs to infuse new energy in their ties.

IMAGE: After ceremonial welcome at the Tashichhodzong Palace, Modi called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema.

IMAGE: Modi launched RuPay Card in Bhutan by making a purchase at Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Shabdrung Namgyal, which functions as a monastic and administrative centre and is one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan. “I am very happy that today we have launched RuPay card in Bhutan. This will further enhance our relationship in digital payments, and trade and tourism. Our shared spiritual heritage and strong people-to-people relationship are key of our relations,” Modi said.

IMAGE: The two PMs also unveiled e-plaque of the interconnection between India’s National Knowledge Network and Bhutan’s Druk Research and Education Network. “It is a privilege for India to be a major partner in the development of Bhutan. India’s cooperation in Bhutan’s five-year plans will continue,” Modi said. Modi also announced to increase the supply of LPG from India from 700 to 1000 MT per month to meet the growing needs of the people of Bhutan. The Prime Minister said India will extend all possible help in realising Tshering’s dream of multi-disciplinary super-specialty hospital in Bhutan.

IMAGE: The two leaders jointly inaugurated the Ground Earth Station and SATCOM network, developed with assistance from ISRO for utilization of South Asia Satellite in Bhutan. Modi also inaugurated 740 MW Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant and also launched stamps to commemorate five decades of India-Bhutan Hydropower cooperation. “Today we have achieved another historic milestone of this journey with the inauguration of the Mangdechhu project. With the cooperation of both countries, hydro-power generation capacity in Bhutan has crossed 2000 MW. I am confident that we will also take other projects forward very fast,” he said.

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