The project's foundation stone was laid by Modi electronically from the courtyard of Bhutan's Parliament building after addressing a joint session.

Three Hydro-electric projects (HEPs) totalling 1416 MW (Chukha, Tala and Kurichu) are already operational.

Three more HEPs [Punatsangchu I (1200 MW), Punatsangchu II (1020 MW) and Mangdechu (720 MW)] are under construction. They are scheduled to be commissioned in 2017-18.

In April, 2014, the two countries had signed a framework agreement on four more JV-model HEPs totalling 2120MW. Of these, pre-construction activities for the 600MW Kholongchu HEP as a JV-model HEP between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) will commence soon.

"Our hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation," an Indian official said, adding that "the hydropower projects generate export revenues for Bhutan, cement our economic partnership and provide clean and low-cost electricity to India."

Want to take forward Bhutan-Bharat hydropower cooperation: Modi

Modi, addressing a joint session of the Bhutanese Parliament, said India wanted to take forward its hydropower cooperation with the Himalayan country in a major way and also equip its youth with technology to be able to match strides with others in the world.

"Bharat-Bhutan cooperation in the field of hydropower is going strong. I want to take it forward," said Modi, adding that their cooperation in the area should be an example to the world in sustainable development.

He praised the royal family of Bhutan for the progress of the Himalayan nation.

He said that India's proposal, announced on Sunday, on setting up a digital library in Bhutan was aimed at connecting the youth of both countries.

"Whatever technology is required, India is ready to provide, to help the youth of Bhutan match steps with others in the world," he said.

Modi said he could have chosen to go to any big nation after the huge mandate he got in the election, but he decided on Bhutan. "But I wanted to go to Bhutan, so I did not have to think… We share such close and friendly ties,"

Modi arrived here on Sunday on his first foreign trip after assuming office last month.

JPN/Agencies

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