The Afghans are thanking Indians with a 100 meter tricolor, and if this makes you proud, wait till we tell you the cause for this show of gratitude and honor! The world will see India help the grief stricken nation by commissioning the start of work on the Salma Dam. The dam will be India’s second largest overseas hydro-power project.
For the Afghani people this will be a crucial project and they are to benefit massively from the multi-purpose dam. The goodwill project initiated by India will be commissioned sometime next year and had been under construction for the past ten years. Located in the Herat province of the nation, at Chist-e-shariff, across the the Harirud River, the project is capable of generating 42 MW of power, with the potential for irrigating 75,000 hectares of farmland. The water-body is 20 KM in length and 3.7 KM in width, and the dam is 107 Meter high, 550 Meter long and 500 Meter wide, with a water holding capacity of 633 Million Cubic Meters.
A Public Sector Enterprise, WAPCOS Limited, operating under the patronage of the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation was assigned the job of reconstructing the Salma Dam. The Dam was built in 1976 and was damaged during the civil strife that erupted through Afghanistan. The re-construction of the Dam was started by WAPCOS but stopped in 1988 due to political tensions in the nation.
However, in 2006 India promised to fund the project one again and guarantee its completion at the estimated cost of $200 million. Though the construction team, which employs both Indians and Afghans is working under dangerous and challenging circumstances as political and international influences continue to be a major cause of concern in the landlocked country, the project and positive change is a welcome change for the nation looking for a ray of hope to bounce back in the global arena.