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Efforts underway to complete Salma Dam project: Official

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Efforts underway to complete Salma Dam project: Official

 Located in 80km of Herat province’s Chashte Sharif district township, and surveyed in 1971, as one of the country’s key infrastructures, Salma Dam’s construction project is due to be completed in next few months, an official said.

Some 30 percent of the project work had been completed through a contract between Afghanistan and  Apkas Company at that era.
According to the deputy minister of water and power, Shujauddin Ziaye who discussed the subject with The Kabul Times’ reporter, the project which had been surveyed during the tenure of Late Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan had been delayed much for security reasons, after the interference of Russia and Saur Cope in 1971.
However the project was expected to be resumed after then, but once again delayed during the Taliban regime and increasing insecurity, Ziaye said adding technical problems were also behind the delay. But it started in 2007 after the Taliban collapse and was expected to be completed in June this year, but failed due some challenges.”
He said efforts were underway to complete the project and inaugurate the dam soon, after the settlement and removal of some differences between an Indian Company and the Indian Government on how to launch the project.
The project price had also risen, with efforts focused to complete and utilize next solar year, Ziaye assured.
The project if completed would produce up to 42mgw power per hour and the dam would be used in irrigation of over 45,000 hectares of land as it could have the capacity of over 514 million cubic-meter water reservation, for its 106 meter depth, according to the deputy minister.
In the mountainous areas, there are many water sources, but in those with less rainfall, like south and southeastern regions, there is a need for water sources, while of country’s 5 water basins covering 75 percent of the land, only 25 percent is used for irrigation inside the country, with the remaining flowing to the neighboring countries.
“We had launched a survey on the areas, with water source and with possibility to construct dam,” he said adding many water dams had been built and utilized since after launching investigation in many areas of the country.
He asked for full concentration over the water dam construction as it may follow harms in the consequence, if not paid heavy attention in building quality.
11 of the 18 projects, costing $11billion would be taken under construction, with the availability of the project.
He went on as saying that the projects under construction were Kamal Khan Dam in Helmand, Band-e-Shah Arus in Kabul, Pashdan on Harirod Water, Almar in Faryab and Machlegho in Paktia.
The deputy ministry for water and power had so far launched survey and completed some 2300 dam projects, irrigating over 500,000 hectares of land in the country.
Shukria Kohistani