India ready to invest in Kabul dam project

A senior Indian official has said his country is ready to invest in Shahtoot Dam project in Chahar Asiab district in Kabul province. The dam will be built in the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.

Vijay Keshav Gokhale, the foreign secretary of India, said in the meeting on Wednesday that India will start work on the dam in the near future.

The project will provide drinking water, and irrigation water for Kabul province.

The feasibility study of the project which cost $1.86 million USD was completed in 2012 when Mohammad Ismail Khan was the minister of energy and water.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Water, the project will provide healthy drinking water to two million people in the capital city, Kabul.

“The design and feasibility of the dam has been completed. Previously, Afghan and Iranian companies have worked on the project. The construction of the dam has remained. It will be used mostly for drinking water,” said Asif Ghafoori, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy and Water.

Analysts said the dam project is a good step towards overcoming healthy water shortages in the city.

“Underground water has reduced in Kabul and people are concerned about it. The project will overcome this problem,” Abdul Wase Haidari, an economic affairs analyst, told TOLOnews.

The construction of the dam will cost $236 million USD, the Ministry of Energy and Water said.

This comes after the underground water level in Kabul dropped to about 10 meters last summer. This has caused severe water shortages in certain areas of the city.

The project will provide irrigation water to at least 4,000 hectares of land in Chahar Asiab and Khairabad districts in Kabul. It will also provide drinking water to the New City in Dehsabz.

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