Power line to be laid based on panel’s proposals: Govt
KABUL (Pajhwok): After widespread protests in Kabul, the Presidential Palace on Monday announced the government would follow suggestions of the special commission tasked with reviewing the multinational power project route.
The Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) has recommend the project be implemented through the Salang Pass crossing Baghlan province, but thousands of protestors have stressed the scheme must pass through central Bamyan.
Government officials said Bamyan would be connected via a separate power line from central Parwan province to resolve the electricity problems -- an argument that has cut little ice with opponents of the route change.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said that protest demonstrations in line with the country laws were the right of people and the government had taken special measures for better security of rallies.
It said the government respected people’s demands and suggestions and took the following decision for properly reviewing the TUTAP project route.
- Salang Pass was chosen by the previous government as the default route of the project, so it does not relate the incumbent administration, which had delayed the 500Kv power project for six months in 2013 in order to supply electricity to Bamyan. A committee was tasked during the period to provide all resources for supply of electricity to Bamayn.
- The government has been discussing and listening to people’s opinions for the past two weeks to find a solution to differences and prevent the project from recession as well as find a proper solution to provide electricity to Bamyan. Therefore, the government talked to the following authorities.
- The national unity leadership has discussed with leaders of different political parties, elders and protestors ways of finding a solution to the problem through talks.
- The government many times tried and sent a delegation to the protestors to open a peaceful way for talks on the issue. The government sent an official letter to the protestors and invited them to the Presidential Palace for talking on the issue with government leaders.
- The government also contacted political party leaders and elders involved in the protest and invited them to solve the problem through discussions. The president delayed his trip to Tajikistan only to meet the protestors.
- The Presidential Palace, at least four times, announced preparations to host protestors at the Palace and hear their complaints, but the demonstrators rejected the invitation.
- The government finally made a decision creating a special commission to review the route of the project. The commission was set up in consideration of protestors’ views as the procurement and execution process of the project also suspended.
The commission has the authority to assess all documents of the project and the government would then embark on its implementation in consideration of the panel’s suggestions regarding modifications.
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