Khan’s stance on Kajaki dam rejected
LASHKARGAH (PAN): The governor’s spokesman on Wednesday downplayed Water and Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan’s excuse that a third turbine at the Kajaki dam could not be installed due to insecurity in southern Helmand province.
Khan has told the Meshrano Jirga, upper house of parliament, that due to insecurity in Helmand, his ministry had been unable to install a third turbine at the hydropower dam.
But the governor’s spokesman Mohammad Daud Ahmadi told a press conference in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, that Khan’s justification reflected his failure to reconstruct the dam.
The minister had also said that hundreds of civilians were killed three years ago when they tried to transfer the turbine to the dam site.
But Ahmadi said 50 insurgents and a dozen civilians were killed in the incident. He renewed his call for the water and energy ministry not to ignore the dam’s reconstruction that could resolve electricity problem in several provinces.
Lashkargah residents also blame the ministry for failing to reconstruct the dam, saying that they see no serious security threat in the province.
Resident Roohullah said it was beyond his understanding why reconstruction work could not be launched on the dam over the past many years. He suspected the officials concerned might have pocketed the money set aside for the turbine’s installation.
In 2006, the United States granted id="mce_marker"80 million in assistance to Afghanistan for the installation of a third turbine at the Kajaki dam. The turbine has so far reached the district, but yet to be installed.
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