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Funding delay for India’s Afghan Salma Dam project in Herat

in Afghan Business

Funding delay for India’s Afghan Salma Dam project in Herat

Work on the Salma Project has been postponed due to procrastination on the part of New Delhi for not approving the revised cost for the Salma dam.

The cost of the dam was initially estimated to be 3.5bn Rupees; however after later calculations, the expense is amounted to 8bn Rupees.

This project has the capacity to irrigate 75 thousand hectares of agricultural fields and to generate 42 Megawatts of electricity.

A high-level meeting of the country’s security managers was told that construction activity had slowed down and was on the verge of “complete stoppage because the Afghan contractors had lost complete faith in the revival of the project and the subcontractors were refusing to supply material on credit to the contractors.”

The Salma is one of the two big projects India undertook in Afghanistan, the other being the Parliament building. The dam’s completion failed in 2010 due to security issues. The site begun witnessing frequent gun battles between the project security detail and the Taliban even before the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Chief of Strategic Studies Ghafoor Liwan spoke about the causes of enmity with Salma Dam project:

“Salma project is one of the major projects for Afghanistan and is basically facing three types of obstacles. The first obstacle is, unfortunately, the widespread insecurity in the country, which is mainly due to sabotage in the major projects from the government’s opposition. Where the root of these oppositions lies, it has been debated much. With regards to Salma project, interruption is caused directly and indirectly by Iran, which has been witnessed.”

According to Mr. Liwal, some people who were arrested for disrupting the works on the dam acknowledged that they were provoked by certain groups of Iran.

Since the past one year, insurgents are not only fighting with Salma Project checkpoints but have also begun bombing and exploding the 160 km road of the site.

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