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    Initial work on Kamal Khan Dam begins

    ZARANJ (PAN): Initial construction work on the key Kamal Khan Dam has been launched in the Charborjak district of southwestern Nimroz province, an official said on Sunday.

    The dam is being constructed over the Helmand River, about 95 kilometers from Zaranj city. An agreement to the effect was signed between the Ministry of Water and Energy and the Tajik Firm, TADES, director Nurali Niyazov on August 10.

    The initial work included the construction of a 3,400-metre wall having 32 metres width and 6 to 11 meters height, the Irrigation Director, Eng. Shah Wali, told Pajhwok Afghan News. He said the construction would cost $9,850,000 to be provided by the Ministry of Water and Energy.

    In the second phase, a similar wall on the other side of the river would be constructed and the river's bed cemented, he said.

    In the third phase, the irrigation director said power producing generators would be installed, the last stage to complete the project.

    Nearly 40,000 acres of land would come under irrigation and 8.5 megawatts of electricity would be produced with the completion of the project, he said.

    Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Water and Energy say concerns of Iran regarding the Kamal Khan Dam are baseless and argue it is the right of Afghanistan to construct dams on its soil.

    Afghan Consulate General in Mashad had informed the Afghan government about concerns expressed by Iranian analysts regarding the dam's construction over the Helmand River in a statement to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Iranian analysts claim constructing the dam over the Helmand River is against a protocol signed between the two countries.