Rehabilitation work on Helmand dams soon: Khan
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Repair and rehabilitation work on Kajaki and Greshk dams in southern Helmand province would be launched soon, the minister of energy and water said on Sunday.
Mohammad Ismail Khan told a news conference in Lashkargah, after the repairs, the Greshk dam would produce four megawatts of power, solving district residents' problems.
Flanked by Governor Gulab Mangal, he said funds for the rehabilitation of the Kajaki dam, Afghanistan's largest hydroelectric project, had already been provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
However, the rehabilitation work could not be undertaken so far due to insecurity in the province, said the acting minister, who visited both sites along with Breshna Shirkat head Abdul Razzaq Samadi.
A third turbine which was transported to Kajaki district two years ago would be installed in the near future, Khan said. With the turbine's installation, the dam's power-generating capacity will increase to 51 megawatts.
In late August 2008, a contingent of British, Afghan and ISAF troops transferred the third turbine from Kandahar Airbase to Kajaki.
The dam's production level was expected to reach 100 megawatts once all the three turbines came online, he explained. Apart from Helmand, neighbouring provinces will also benefit from its rehabilitation.
Governor Mangal said although the turbine was brought to Kajaki more than two years back, other required materials could not be transported there. But the security situation had gradually improved in the district, he said.
Located on the Helmand River, the dam was built in 1953 by the Morrison-Knudsen firm and commissioned in 1975 by the USAID. Although the US provided $180 million for the reconstruction of the dam a few years ago, little progress has been made so far on its rehabilitation.
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