Monday, July 27

India's Salma Dam project in Afghanistan nears completion: finally some good news

I wasn't aware that India had also funded the building of a new Parliament building in Kabul until I read the following report.  Wonder if that was a factor in the recent attack on the country's Parliament.  But to return to good news:

India's dam project in Afghanistan approaches completion
26 July 2015 
Anadolu Agency

Multimillion dollar infrastructure project moves forward as dam reservoir begins to be filled

(KABUL) The Indian-sponsored multimillion-dollar Salma Dam project in Afghanistan has passed a critical stage on Sunday with the closure of Diversion Tunnel Gate and the start of the filling of the dam reservoir.

The 20-km long and 3.7 km wide reservoir is expected to take 9 to 12 months to be filled. The dam, located in the western province Herat near Iran, has a storage capacity of 640 million cubic meters.

Salma Dam is among the major Indian-sponsored projects alongside the new parliament building in the Afghan capital Kabul and the Chah Bahar Port in Iran aimed at harnessing Indo-Afghan ties.

The reservoir project was first conceived in the late 70s, but was damaged early during the civil war in the 1990s. The project was left incomplete for a significant period of time due to the ongoing instability. Local press also blamed Iran for hindering the project.

It is the “flagship infrastructural project of India’s developmental assistance program to Afghanistan”, the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan said.

Salma Dam is a hydroelectric and irrigation project being constructed on Hari River in Chist-e Sharif district of Herat. Afghanistan is likely to get around 42 MW of power from it besides improved irrigation facilities for some 80,000 hectares of land.

The project includes the construction of a 107.5 m high and 550 m long rock fill dam and other typical components of any hydroelectric power project, i.e. a spillway, powerhouse, switchyard, and a transmission line.

Revised estimates of the project put its cost at $300 million.

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