More than two years after helping Afghanistan build the Salma dam in Herat, India has decided to aid the country in building the Shahtoot dam which lies in the Kabul river basin, reports Economic Times. The Salma dam is now known as Afghan-India Friendship Dam.
The dam is planned on a tributary of the Kabul river, in the country’s Chahar Asiab district. It is estimated that this project would provide potable water to two million individuals and aid the irrigation of 4000 hectares of agricultural land in Chahar Asiab and Khairabad.
As per the report, India’s decision to help build this dam was formally conveyed to Afghanistan during a meeting between senior officials of the Joint Working Group on Development Cooperation (JWG-DC), last week. The total cost of construction is estimated to be $300 million.
Incidentally, the report claims that this cooperation between the two countries is likely to upset Pakistan and its new government. It is claimed that Pakistan has had an issue with all India funded projects in Afghanistan, and this dam might restrict the flow of water into the country.
Pakistan has been urging Afghanistan to sign a bilateral treaty to share water between the two countries, which has been resisted by the latter. Afghanistan supposedly feels that signing such a treaty might make it difficult to construct irrigation and hydro-electric projects in the Kabul river basin.
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