Modi in Herat to inaugurate Indian-funded Salma Dam
KABUL (Pajhwok): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced his arrival in western Herat province to inauguratethe Delhi-funded Salma Dam project jointly with President Ashraf Ghani.
Modi tweeted in Dari and Pashto languages to confirm his arrival in Herat. “I arrived in historic Herat province, will inaugurate the Salma Dam and meet President Ghani.”
Over the past 14 years, India has contributed $2 billion to the socio-economic rebuilding of the Afghanistan in line with development priorities of the government in Kabul, which remains dependent on foreign aid.
A multipurpose project planned to generate 42mw of power, the facility will irrigate 75,000 hectares of land besides bringing other benefits to the people of Afghanistan.
Implemented by WAPCOS Ltd., anIndian government firm under ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, the landmark dam is located 165 kilometres east of Herat City.
With a gross capacity of 633 million M3, the dam’s height is 104.3 metres, length 540 metres and width at the bottom 450 metres. It is India’s most expensive infrastructure project in the region.
The $300 million dam is located two kilometers from the Salma Village of the Chisht-i-Sharif district of the province and 176 km east of Herat City.Construction work on it came to an end after 45 years of waiton July 2015. In 1978 India had pledged to construct the Salma Dam, but the coup against former president Mohammad Daud Khan and subsequent conflicts in Afghanistan left the project hamstrung.
After the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001, the construction of the dam was launched in 2006.It was initially planned to be completed in four years, but the process faced problems due to insecurity and logistical supply problems.
However, the dam was finally completed in 2015 and is scheduled to be inauguratedjointly by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.