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Snail-paced work on solar power scheme irks industrialists

Snail-paced work on solar power scheme irks industrialists

Jul 29, 2018 - 15:41

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Factory owners in southern Kandahar province complain of snail-paced work on a 10 MW solar power project, saying the scheme is not being implemented the way the government has promised.

Work on the project was launched in September 2017 after three years of delay. Its completion was promised within a year.  But 11 months on, construction of retaining walls and land preparation could not be completed.

USAIDinfo-icon has provided $10 million while the Zolarestan Company, the contractor, is investing $9 million in the 10 MW solar energy project.  Eight acres have in Daman district have been specified for the project.

Haji Syed Mohammad, an industrialist, grumbled the project’s timescale was going to be missed. Until now, only the construction of retaining walls and preparing the ground had been completed.

He demanded work on the project be accelerated because most of factories were faced with a shortage of electricity.

Faizul Haq Mushkani, head of the Kandahar Industrialists Association, called inadequate electricity a challenge, not only for industrial units, but also for the common people.

He said tens of investors had been waiting for the solar project to be completed so they could invest in the industrial sector.

Amanullah Farooqi, Da Afghanistaninfo-icon BreshnaShirkat director, acknowledged the project could not be implemented the way it was planned.

He recalled the retaining walls were planned to be constructed with bricks but the plan was later changed and it was decided to build stone walls.

He said the company working on the project had some tax-related issue with the Ministry of Finance but that had also been resolved.

Industrialists say they need 10MW of electricity but were provided only 3MW. Most of factories have stopped production due to non-availability of electricity, they complain.

Abdul Rahman, a resident of the 5th municipal district, said the president had pledged completion of the solar power project by summer. However, he lamented no progress could be seen so far.


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