Context:

Project DANTAK is commemorating its Diamond Jubilee in Bhutan – Indian Ambassador to Bhutan laid a floral wreath at the DANTAK Memorial in Simtokha on April 24, 2021.

As DANTAK celebrates six decades in Bhutan, the project reaffirms its commitment to support the march of Bhutan towards realising the dreams of His Majesty Druk Gyalpo, the plans of the Royal Government of Bhutan and aspirations of the people of the kingdom.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India and its Neighbourhood, India’s investments in foreign countries)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Project DANTAK
  2. India – Bhutan relations

About Project DANTAK

  • Project DANTAK is one of the oldest Projects of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) established on 24th April1961.
  • It was a result of the visionary leadership of the third King of Bhutan and then Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru.
  • DANTAK was tasked to construct the pioneering motorable roads and over the years, the Project has completed approximately 1600 km of blacktopped roads and 120 km of tracks in Bhutan with 5000 meters of bridges over them.
  • The medical and education facilities established by DANTAK in far flung areas were often the first in those locations.
  • The food outlets along the road introduced the Bhutanese to Indian delicacies and developed a sweet tooth in them.

Notable projects executed by the project include:

  1. Paro Airport,
  2. Yonphula Airfield,
  3. Thimphu – Trashigang Highway,
  4. Telecommunication & Hydro Power Infrastructure,
  5. Sherubtse College,
  6. Kanglung and India House Estate.

India – Bhutan relations

  • India and Bhutan have been sharing ties since 1910 when Bhutan became a protectorate of British India, allowing the British to “guide” its foreign affairs and defence.
  • When India declared independence in 1947, Bhutan was among the first nations to recognise it.
  • Since then, the relationship between the countries has become stronger, especially because Bhutan also has a historically tense relationship with China.
  • India and Bhutan also share deep religio-cultural links. Guru Padmasambhava, a Buddhist saint played an influential role in spreading Buddhism and cementing traditional ties between people in both nations.
  • The basis for bilateral relations between India and Bhutan was formed by the Indo-Bhutan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1949.
  • Bhutan shares border with four Indian States: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim.
  • Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan serves as a buffer between India and China.
  • Security of Bhutan’s present borders especially its western border is very important for India.
  • Bhutan provides a market for Indian commodities and is a destination for Indian investment. Also, for India, Bhutan is a rich source of hydropower.
  • About 60,000 Indian nationals live in Bhutan, employed mostly in the hydro-electric power construction and road industry.
What would happen if Bhutan ignore Indian concern and seek closer  diplomatic ties with China -allowing them to build an embassy in Bhutan? -  Quora

Click Here to read more about the Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

-Source: PIB

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