The Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar, attended the Afghanistan 2020 Conference recently. India has confirmed the construction of Shahtoot Dam. The Shahtoot Dam would be constructed on the Maidan river tributary of the Kabul river. The dam would be located in the Chahar Asiab district.Embed from Getty Images
After construction, the Shahtoot Dam would provide clean drinking water to nearly 2 million residences of Kabul city. S Jaishankar also confirmed the launch of 100 high-impact community projects in Afghanistan. The projects would be worth 80 million dollars or 592 crores. The projects would be concentrated into smaller projects that would witness speedy development to benefit the population of Afghanistan.
India has previously constructed the 202 km long Phul-e-Khumri transmission line in 2009 and supplied electricity to Kabul city. The Shahtoot Dam would improve the supply of electricity in the region.
India also emphasized that the geographical location of Afghanistan has restricted its development. The geographical restrictions can be overcome with a dedicated air freight route and connectivity through the Chabahar port.
The Shahtoot Dam would be constructed at the estimated cost of 300 million dollars. Pakistan has been opposing the construction of the Shahtoot Dam, stating that the dam would reduce water flow to Pakistan. Pakistan has been pressurizing Afghanistan to sign a treaty for sharing water of the Kabul River and its tributaries.
However, the Afghan government has been skeptical about signing the treaty as such a treaty would hinder the irrigation and hydroelectric projects in the Kabul River basin.
Indian development portfolio in Afghanistan has reached a total of 3 Billion dollars or Rupees 22,200 Crores.