Bhutan builders

Jai Prakash and Gammon have been selected to construct the 1000MW Punatsangchhu – II hydropower project.

Gammon, Hindustan Construction, and Larsen and Turbo are building the 1200MW Punatsangchhu – I hydropower project.

Hindustan Construction, Larsen and Turbo, and Jai Prakash built the 1020 MW Tala Hydropower Project.

A select group of contractors, characterized by the complete absence of Bhutanese contractors, public or private, even after decades of experience in hydropower construction in our country.


Facebook Comments:


    June 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    Mr R.N Khazanchi is like a king here……he never listen to any bhutanese officials even in the level of directors, forget abt the common people ..This old fox will say projects are funded by indian government and bhutan government have no right to object on such issues.That’s why our lynpo khandu cannot say anything may be coz lynpo didn’t realise that projects are funded by indian government on loan.The results at this moment shocked the nation due to poor work quality by jaiprakash and Ex MD.This old sly fox who act as a king couldnt match his works with what he says. So it’s time for him to say gudbye from bhutan.
    June 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm
    Dear Fellow Citizens,
    Earlier the Projects were funded on 60% loan and 40% grant basis. But, this time, things are different. Now it is 70% loan and 30% grant. This way, India is on a win win situation from all sides. We are the losers.
    So, this time, it should be our Government taking the full decision since we have to pay back major portion of the Project Cost. Khazanchi should be out from Bhutan immediately…….
    Lets not let Mr. Khazanchi and Jaypee together ruin our Future Prospects……. Please…… lets stop our Government from awarding the job to Japyee…..We must act fast before it is too late……….I hope our MPs will raise this issue in the ongoing Parliament session…..Otherwise, we will regret forever…….
    June 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm
    Hi Tenzing Lamsang,
    Please print all the comments mentioned here in your forth coming issue on this Saturday. We must never let Jaypee carry out the construction of our Mega Projects. They will ruin us…..Please Please
    June 10, 2011 at 12:36 am
    It is said that Jaypi company is a company comprised of goons, retired military generals and brigadiers. They get contract works by bribing the higher bureaucrats and leaders. Then they engage laborers at very cheap rates(much much less than other companies of same stature), harass innocent laborers to work at the worst working condition and try to make profit. There is no safety standards in them. Then they compromise quality and quantity. Finally they try to make claims by manipulating contract clauses and with the help of the project management already in their hands, they really know how to extrat money from the clients. This way the client will be robed off the last penny. They really know how to keep the project management and engineers in their hand by bribing. So the engineers will always like this company just like MR Khazanchi and our Lyonpo and many of our hihg officials. And may be careful even the ACC people can be bribed by Jaype is possible. This way Tala project was robed and looted till the last moment until the money stopped coming from India. And these looters are once again looting another project Punatsangchu I and II. Oh my god! Please save.
    June 8, 2011 at 1:19 am
    Mega Hydro power projects has to be designed to run for 4 to 5 decades. what is the use if it is designed to run for a year or five? i am surprised that the warranty for such mega project is just one year. i can built a project which can last AT LEAST for a year given the same amount of money….haha. is our government stupid to make deals worth billions with warrenty of a Year?? …
    one technical question:: are the holes on the floor of surge shaft or on the conical walls of surge shaft??..
    if immediate measures are not taken, there is high probability that the leakage to weaken the foundation and the surgeshaft would not be able to withstand the water pressure inside and ultimately burst out. if this happens, it would be a major catastrophe,..and huge loss to the country, shame to the government and insult to the high Bhutanese official who believe in foreign workers( they like not to rely on us, but like to pay huge and get the worst result form outsourced company)…
    mr. Khazanchi is damn confident that it wont happen next time. he want to give in written form by blood.. i would suggest the appropriate Bhutanese official to get that written statement in blood because i am pretty sure that tala is going to FAIL AGAIN.!!! FRAGILE STRUCTURES WILL FALL APART NO MATTER HOW MUCH SUPPORT YOU GIVE….
    June 7, 2011 at 9:36 am
    Writing in one’s blood was common those days while writing love letters to prove one’s commitments. This was the most daring thing an admirer did to gain a positive response and most of the time it worked. Kazanchi should know here the issue is about the economic sustainability of a nation and billions of ngultrum, and that his blood is not worth all that. We need better commitments.
    June 7, 2011 at 10:23 am
    Mega Power Projects are Gold Mines of our Nation and we have to depend on these Power Projects for self sufficiency when most of the donor agencies are pulling out their support one by one. So, lets not Jaypee ruin the future prospect of our Nation. Jaypee is famous for bribing. How can we expect quality work from Jaypee when they have to recover all the money they have spent on bribing as well as make some profit in the end. We must black list them from Bhutan immediately… Khazanchi has been bought by Jaypee. That is why he pledges to write with his blood in support of Jaypee. This itself shows us the true colors of Khazanchi desperately wanting Jaypee to get a job in Bhutan and ruin our future. Tala itself is a very good lesson for us. Lets not allow Jaypee carry out any work in Bhutan. It is now or never…….
    June 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    I do agree with Sonda. How dare Mr. Kazanchi say that. Here we talk about the economic sustainability of our country. One man’s life is not worth the millions. I just pray and hope that lyonpo Khandu iwll take the right decision along with the board mambers.
    June 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm
    Mega Hydro power projects has to be designed to run for 4 to 5 decades. what is the use if it is designed to run for a year or five? i am surprised that the warranty for such mega project is just one year. i can built a project that can last AT LEAST for a year given the same amount of money….haha. is our government stupid to make deals worth billions with warranty of a Year?? …now you sit like a dumb stupid with no choices for suing the contractor.
    one technical question:: are the holes on the floor of surge shaft or on the conical walls of surge shaft??..
    #if immediate measures are not taken, there is high probability that the leakage to weaken the foundation. within few months surge shaft structure would not be able to withstand the water pressure inside and ultimately burst out. if this happens, it would be a major catastrophe,..and huge loss to the country, shame to the government and insult to the high Bhutanese official who believe in foreign workers( they like not to rely on us, but like to pay huge and get the worst result form outsourced company)…
    #the rapidity of water gusting out from the holes will eventually deteriorate the holes and make it larger and larger. with this, probability of weakening the base will rise with every hour and minute…
    the hole itself will create weak spot in the structure. adding another three more will weaken it much much more.. these weak spots will give way for fractures like in stones, once the fracture crosses its withstand capacity, it will fall apart..
    Mr. Khazanchi is damn confident that it wont happen next time. he want to give in written form by blood.. i would suggest the appropriate Bhutanese official to get that written statement in blood because i am pretty sure that tala is going to FAIL AGAIN.!!! FRAGILE STRUCTURES WILL FALL APART NO MATTER HOW MUCH SUPPORT YOU GIVE….it is predictable because lots of things has been failing at TALA…(simple mathematical concept.)
    Pema Jungney
    June 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    Mr Khazanchi could swear by his blood, it is his gutsy but he had no words to justify the failures of Tala as quoted in this paper. I could understand now how things are running in the projects i.e. everything is running in his gutsy. The Indian engineers and the Indian contractors working with him will never be afraid of involving in corruption and money handling thereby compromising the quality of works. This will also result in hugely escalating the project costs for sure. Even the unwanted works will be executed just to make payments to the favored contractors.
    June 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm
    Khazanchi has no right to swear on his blood when there is a problem already existing. i fully agree with Dorji Tshering that it is high time we wake up and drive Khazanchi away from our soil. we do not need the writing in the old man’s blood but we need the quality work that is paid through our sweat and blood. why is he defensive instead of making the contractor accountable.
    our bureaucracy also cannot say that they will ensure that it does not repeat in future. why does our bureaucracy have soft corner for Jai Prakash & Associates ? if it is a free work then we can understand on taking whatever is given. The work is paid through loans that sit on and every one is aware of that. when there is hole in the dam already, why are we even considering of giving the current work to the Associates instead make them rectify the existing one. if it was a Bhutanese Contractors, by now Anti-Corruption Commission [ACC] would have been after us and our work would have been ceased or even have suspended for participation in any work , forget about getting or awarding the new contract work.
    As concerned citizen, we request the Authority to seriously think and take action. Hydro Powers are supposed to be the highest revenue earner/generator for our country and if this is the conditions of our dams, how do we generate the income?. Forget about income, we cannot even pay back the loan if the quality of the Dam is as reported in the news. the picture gives us the NIGHTMARE.
    June 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    damn it! Mr khazanchi’s response to the reporter seems to b brainwashing and he is trying to cover up his weakness by responding of writing in black and white.what a shame on him and our government even dont have guts to replace him after seeing all such problems. such problems will remain throughout and bhutan government will lose huge money. Mr khanzanchi will suck up huge project’s money and leave after completing the projects. by then our government cannot do anything once he leave. therefore government should replace him and focus on quality of work rather than squezzing our smaller bhutanese contractors……..
    Dorji Jamtsho
    June 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    We Bhutanese peoples are very fortunate to be born in Country like Bhutan blessed by Ugyen Guru Rinpoches & other Veneral Rinpoches & lams, but we certainly are not benefited by a leader like Lyonpo Khandu Wangchu, a chairman of erstwhile Tala Hydroelectric Power Project who rather trying to avoid the problems & concerns over Tala. Does it not falls on his shoulder to sort out this issues between Tala New Management & the Indian Govt., Contractors & former THPA Management. But instead he seems to be defending the latter & end up saying that problems in Tala were caused by multiple factors & were teething problems.
    You got to be resolving this teething problems. You are minister & Chairman of HydroProjects. “words that u speak” does not actually refered that u r a minister. We were informed that Tala today is one of the major revenue generation in our country. Imagine the situation of the country as whole should it have to shutdown for sometime. For him ofcourse obviously has nothing to concern about since he is done now.
    Please look at in a larger issue & to the country as whole. These problems & issues existing at THP needs your genuine attention. If u think we are wrong with our submission, then infact we have actually made mistakes to usher a gutless & incapable guy like u in power projects & as a minister.
    Todays age is very different than previous as u are well aware of. It demands one’s practical expertise & technical knowhow. By putting up unfavourable classical philosophical reasoning & justification will not work at this juncture. ” we think your time has also come” if you thinking you still has the guts & capability then you gotta be practical.
    “wake up guys”.
    June 6, 2011 at 10:40 am
    One flaw after the other. Looks like these Indian companies are taking Bhutan for a ride. In the name of charity providing free services and amenities to the country just to get the bigger piece of the pie. When you look at the pattern of services these outside companies provide, one flaw or the other always comes up later, to site the example the author has mentioned, the “hanger problem” the turbine problem earlier and now this Dam problem. This kind of lapses by foreign contractors clearly sets an example that the Govt needs to be more careful and at the same time a little cautious before handing them any Mega projects.
    Sky Observer
    June 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm
    Mr. Khanzanchi… a real blood suckers of Bhutan Government. Again he is supporting Jaiprakash….why again?. He has never given a solution to the Tala existing problems. he says he will give in writing by his on blood…..thats really funny. we didnt ask him to give in writing. As a very important decision making management he should have never spoken such words……. Mr. Khanzanchi’s life at Tala was more better than Indian Prime Minister. He has made fool to King, Bhutan and Indian Government.
    To support the above statement with simple known facts.. THP’s scrape materials approximately worth 30MU was freely given to the lady he was having affair…..
    Sky Observer
    June 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm
    Also Mr. Khanzanchi has a very good management skill in convincing the higher authority so that he can play around like a king. His technical knowledge is so experience that he can manipulate any of the contract documents….He has spoken goods about JAL but never gone against the quality works of paro airport and also there are many different problems coming in Tala which seems to be poor quality works and management weakness

    sky Observer
    June 10, 2011 at 1:30 am
    I think we all are not getting convinced of what Mr. Khazanche………shekhazanzin is doing in Bhutan,let us all vote together and remove him permenantly from Bhutan before we have to take care of his death body. I would be only one person to say that we should remove him before we have to force fully carry his death body……..He is just a old man with so mudh of active mind….. It is so sad that none of our present governmebt is knowing the full intention of Mr khnazanchief…He is technically not sounf but hyperactive in manupulation….. I as a person who have dealth directly with him is a sad person to share a story to bhutan government. Anyway our Joint Managing Director Phunstho Norbu is so taken away by Mr. Khazanchi that he is also playing a lot of simple game to keep himself happy….. thats for roday and a lot will come…. If any one needs a concret legal information, just drop me a mail and i will be ther with all the documents to down fall the earlier managements please…
    June 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm
    Warranty period of one year on hydropower projects? Time to wake up. Even laptops these days have longer warranty period.
    June 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm
    This is a serious concern for us. Till the cause of the problem in Tala is identified and its accountability fixed, government must not allow Jai Prakash Associates to bid for any future projects.
    The problem with the hanger in Paro Airport is also strongly reinforcing the fact that this company can not be trusted.
    How credible is a blood written guarantee when already Tala is incurring costs trying to solve the problem? It is also funny that our lynpo should make statements favoring the company that’s already done damages in two known occasions.
    Dorji Tshering
    June 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm
    It is hih time we asked R.N Khazanchi to leve Bhutan. He has become a major liability and even his work seems to be of third grade. Instead of admitting to the problem and looking for solution he is denying the obvious problems and is betting that nothing will happen to the 1000 MW Tala project. He obviously has nothing to lose but if the current problems lead to the project being shut down than we the people of Bhutan have to pay the tens of billion loan from India.
    Lyonpo Khandu has also proven him self to be gut less man and not fit to be minister. When it has become obvious that there are problems and solutions need to be found he says everything is ok and is going to allow the same contractor to apply for another job.
    Has Khazanchi and Lyonpo Khandu both been bought by Jai Prakash? As they seem to be defending the company instead of protecting the people of Bhutan? I wonder why? This fox needs to be hunted down.
    Dorji Thinley
    June 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm
    I think there should be at least one senior technical person who has experienced in hydropower field in the PHPA Board. Could be DGPC MD, BPC MD or Mr. Dorji Pavo Phuntsho.
    June 5, 2011 at 7:43 am
    such problem is bound to occur. govt. should put strong management team. bhutanese deputed on this mega project are hardly seen in board, even if they are present the talks are dominated by indian.
    unless bhutanese head such project, it will be easier to manage. i recommend following person who have enormous experience and knowledge
    1. Dorji p. Phuntsho
    2.Gem T shering

  2. Sonam Penjor says

    There are a lot of bhutanese who are aware of whats happening and are capable to head any big projects. Our MD of DGPC and his team have sacrificed a lot in getting the best work done by best team. This is high time, that DGPC undertake the work of Lyonpo Khandu wangchuk. Even to evaluate the contract and award of the contract.

  3. Sonam Penjor says

    Dear OL,
    Please go on hunger strike, its high time for you to act in the capacity of OL. And make sure that those involved for THPA is not awarded again with such a big project.

    Down with the corrupt assholes…….

  4. It is high time that Royal Government give serious thinking on this mega hydropower projects. Rats are smelling from every corner!

    1) Water security issue from the threat of global warming and glacial receding is one. Hydropower water sources are galciers, snow, rainfall and forest. Climate change is expected to deviate precipitation (snow and rainfall) and melt down galciers. Forest is getting degradated with power transmission lines, roads, NRDCL logging, rural kidu timber and firewood and rampant illegal timber business. The hydropower plants are bound to become white elephants by 2020-2030!

    2) With hydropwer, our neighbor’s hands are getting more and more into our policies and water catchment management issues. It is becoming a sovereignity issue.

    3) Loan component increase from 60% to 70%. We are laready under heavy debt with GoI. This higher loan percentage is never going to let us lift our head from the weight of debt. It is an economic as well as a sovereignity issue again.

    4) With all the mega contracts awarded to Indian Companies, money flow back to India and excessive workforce brought in instigate drugs, other illegal activities, crime and cultural deviation. Act like a King while in the country and who knows what is being planned after knowing the details of the country.

    OL, will let our policy makers understand all these underlying pricks?

  5. OL, will you……..? Sorry for the typo.

  6. Yeshey Penjor–well said.

    Please at least spare some rivers from being damed–Chamkhar chuu and Drangmi Chuu, for example. Have mercy on lifeforms in the river.

  7. I think it is high time Bhutan government find alternatives to the corrupt Indian companies. We all know that they don’t do a good job and their technology is a dinosaur.

    Compare Kurichu and Basochu, both are 60 megawatts, yet the damage to the environment is more with Kurichu and man capacity to run the power plant is 240 people for Kurichu and 40 for Basochu.

    It might seem like Indian government is helping us, but the reality is they are helping themselves, power is sold for cheap from Bhutan to India and they resell it at a higher price down there, 95% of the money goes back to India, Bhutan government have no say in hiring of contractors.

    I think it is time, we let international contractors bid on these projects. They are technology is highly advanced and they are not corrupt.

  8. Indian government helping Bhutan with the power project is like a parent giving his child 100 ngultrum with the following condition;
    -70 ngultrum is loan and 30 is gift
    -with the money you can only buy from the parent and no one else
    -the product you bought from the parent you have bought from the parent you have to sell it back to the parent at a discount.

  9. I wish i could invent time machine and take Bhutan 50 years back and contemplate on our independent future. Unfortunately, i cant and sad to see our fate sealed with hydro power contract with India.

  10. may be all sons and daughters of DG/Directors related to Hydro power sectors are sponsored by Indian contractors. May are all are one way or other studying in New Delhi or other parts of India, check!!!

  11. Dear OL,

    I would sincerely like to hear your view on the subject. The questions raised by the bloggers need to be answered. These queries are not only suggestive of decrease in faith on Indian companies but also on the policies adopted by our great Kings. The reasons for these thoughts coming out now needs to be seriously viewed.

    Was the decision taken by our great Kings to alligning towards India a mistake???

    Would we be in a better position if we would have remained as an isolated (without Indian support) country???

    The voices which are coming now — Are these people not aware of the fate of other smaller countries in the region???

    If the suggestions to do away with Indian support are to be considered and followed in letter and spirit — Will it work out??? AND more importantly Will our other Big neighbour not take advantage of the situation???

    Are we in a position to establish long term relations with our other Big neighbour???

    Do we even to date have an iota of faith on the Communist superpower to entrust them with development/projects in our country???

    Dear OL, knowing your views on the subject is very important for we common citizens for we have shown our faith in you by voting more than 30% of votes in your support. You are our voice in the National assembly and we would like to know how you feel about it.

    I would like to add that the cases of corruption and improper conduct by these Indian individuals and companies are case of disciplinary offence and should be dealt strongly. No one should get the feeling that since he is associated with a multi crore project he is allowed to misbehave. We must take up case against these indisciplined characters at the highest possible level and am sure the way judiciary is evolving in India, none of these will be spared.


  12. I support the previous mail, as these views do not bode well for the cross-border cooperation. Views of OL are important as there are important larger questions involved!!

  13. I agree..with u all guys..jaypee only not bribing high officials..L&T also doing the same..if we the workers go to office n ask 4 a empty barrell they wil charge money 4m us if police of wangdue goes ther they can take how much they can..i think it s also a bribe to police..or not..? Because of dat the police of wangdue are realy suporting L&T managment..first when the project started, if problem arises betwen workers and staffs they(police) will now directly to police cuostdy..for small reason..

  14. Why all the Mega Projects about Power always go to indian pockets ?

    I think other country might be ready to hand in to help or bid in with the same or lower price but in advanced technology and higher quality …

    I dun know … I just look through an outsider’s eye 😉

  15. Hon’ble Lyonpo,

    I have a book on social media and politics published by renowned publishers based in singapore. I would like to share the book if you are interested. I thought since you are one of the high profile person to use social media, the book will be useful to you. It mainly dwells on how social media is being used in politics in asian nations.

    I hope to hear from you


  16. Contractor says

    How long our own contractors are expected to be inexperienced in the Hydro Power Projects. Who is responsible for capacity building for our contractors, where our contractors will go and have experience if the contractors are never given chance to work on this projects. Giving the excuse that our own contractors are not experienced and awarding the work to Indain contractor will not solve our problem. How long are we going to depend on Indian contractor, the contractors who have not performed well in past.

    Some group of Bhutanese contractors formed consortium with the expectation that the Government will consider,with the consideration of the experience by different contractors in different filled combined. this has not been of any alarm.

    What are we doing?

  17. government wanted to do everything by themself as we can see..bigger projects are taken by indian companies, discourage to recognize bhutanese contractors for mega projects and now CDB who is monotoring the policies wanted to act as a service orented organization by snatching the job of private organization/discouraging its own ally like CAB…which in return will ruin the already messed construction industry.i am suggesting to mantain a public- private partnership rather than being selfish.

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