The country needs to build more tunnels and caverns, not just for hydropower, but also for road connectivity and exploring underground space for various purposes.
This was the message Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay conveyed at the closing of training on control and monitoring of tunnels and underground space organised by Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) and International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association – Committee on Education and Training (ITA-CET), a foundation based in Switzerland.
Lyonchhen said that Bhutan has the most challenging topography, making it difficult to build big buildings and structures. Despite this, he said, ancestors built huge structures such as the Trongsa Dzong.
“The cavern of Punatshangchhu-I powerhouse can easily fit two Trongsa Dzongs and this cavern is the biggest structure in the country,” he said. “So, our biggest building, equivalent to 17-storey building, is built in hollow cavern underground.”
However, he said that road tunnel just constitute 1.5km compared with 150km tunnel built for hydropower projects.