THE PROGRESS OF THE 1020MW Tala hydroelectric project in Bhutan was inspected, in early June, by His Majesty the King of Bhutan. The construction of the project, which began in 1998, is being implemented jointly by neighbouring India and the Kingdom of Bhutan. The power developed at the site is to be sold to India, under a power sale agreement between the two countries.

The inspection included the penstock steel pipes workshop, the bottom of the surge shaft where the 23km head race tunnel ends, the pressure shaft tunnels, the powerhouse and the transformer caverns, the tailrace tunnel, the dam, the diversion tunnel, the de-silting chambers, and the tunnel intake.

The King was concerned about the difficult rock conditions along the 23 km tunnel which will transport water from the dam to the power house, and advised that all possible technical measures be adopted to strengthen this vital component of the project so that it will function properly in the future.