Once again Bamyanis protest against TUTAP route change
BAMYAN (Pajhwok): Once again, a number of people on Friday staged a protest demonstration in central Bamyan province to renew their demand for routing a multimillion transnational power import project through the impoverished province.
This was for a fourth time, the people of Bamyan staged a protest demonstration under the slogan “Our right is not silence” and asked the government to route the TUTAP project, designed to deliver electricity from Turkmenistan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, via Bamyan rather than the northeastern district of Salang.
The 500volt high voltage transmission line will make power available to millions of Afghans by connecting preexisting infrastructure.
One of the protestors, Kulsom Nekzad, told Pajhwok Afghan News the basic aim of their protest was speak out against the government’s systematic decimation against the people of Bamyan.
She said members of the Mujahideen Council, civil society and common people were taking part in the demonstration to demand their rights. “We say no to discrimination and demand of the government to route the power line via Bamyan.”
Another participant, Abdul Ahad Danishyar, said: “We have so far staged protest rallies, but our later course of action will be closing airports and highways in order to make the government accept our demand.”
Dada Bakhsh, another protestor, said they wanted the government to stop discrimination against minority tribes. He said the people had lost faith in government’s promises and that was why they resorted to protests.
The protestors later issued a resolution letter, in which they said they would erect tents in front of the governor’s house and UNAMA offices from Sunday.
After a massive protest by the Hazara community in Kabul against the change in the project route, the government appointed a commission tasked with evaluating the project route. The commission after its investigation recommended the Salang route for the project.
The German technical advising firm Fichtner originally recommended that the power route run through Bamyan, but later advised against this route.
The Afghan government maintains the Salang route is cost-effective and shortest and the Bamyan route would prolong the project completion by several years.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.