Work on Machalgho dam comes to a halt
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Officials said on Saturday that construction work on the Machalgho power dam in southeastern Paktia province had come to a halt.
Completion of the dam in Ahmadaba district will help generate hundreds of megawatts of electricity and irrigate vast tracts of barren land.
The Ministry of Water and Power inked an agreement with an Afghan-Russian company to construct the dam four years back.
Ismail Khan, then energy and water minister, had pledged the project would be executed in three years but only 20 percent of work had been done so far.
Being built at a cost of $34 million, the dam will produce 404 megawatts of electricity and irrigate 1,824 hectares of land.
Abdul Wali Sahi, the deputy governor, acknowledged construction work on the dam had been halted for months due to nonpayment of funds. He, however, said efforts were on to resume work on the project.
Noor Muhammad Mustafa Mastoor, a senior official at the Ministry of Finance, said funds were being released for the Machalgho dam.
He also confirmed work on the dam had been stopped, but attributed the halt to differences between the companies.
“We have funds for the project but differences have emerged between the Afghan and Russian companies, which halted construction work,” he informed.
Shujauddin Ziyaee, an official at the Ministry of Energy and Water, also supported Mastoor’s viewpoint and said the companies had their own problems.
He said representatives of both firms would be summoned next week to explain their position with regard of the construction work on the dam.
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