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About Gelephu Smart City Project

Context:

Recently, Bhutan’s King has announced plans to build a massive “international city” in an area of over 1,000 sq. km. on its border with Assam. This project is known as the Gelephu Project.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Gelephu Smart City Project: Key Highlights

Economic Corridor and Connectivity:

  • Positioned as an economic corridor linking South Asia with Southeast Asia through India’s northeastern states.

Environmental Sustainability:

  • Emphasis on adhering to environmental standards and sustainability goals, with a focus on attracting quality investment from specially screened international companies.

Industry Focus:

  • Inclusion of “zero emission” industries and the development of a “mindfulness city,” capitalizing on Bhutan’s strengths in tourism and wellness.
  • Integration of infrastructure companies as part of the project.

Special Administrative Region:

  • Designation as a “Special Administrative Region” with distinct laws to facilitate increased international investment.

Significance for Bhutan and South Asia:

  • Project envisioned as a “point of inflection” and a transformative initiative for both Bhutan and the broader South Asian region.

India-Bhutan Railway Construction:

  • The Government of India commits to constructing the first India-Bhutan railway line to Gelephu.

Connectivity Beyond Borders:

  • The railway project includes connectivity with roadways and border trading points extending into Assam and West Bengal.
  • This connectivity aims to provide Bhutan access to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore, enhancing regional trade and collaboration.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2024
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