Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in Herat province in Western Afghanistan.
The dam was inaugurated during PM Narendra Modi’s first stop to Afghanistan as part of his five- nation tour which will also take him to Qatar, Switzerland, US and Mexico.
- The Afghan-India Friendship Dam was earlier known as Salma Dam. It is built on Hari River in Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province neighbouring Iran and is earth and rock fill dam.
- It is a multipurpose project built to generate 42 MW of power, irrigate 75000 hectares of land, water supply and other benefits to the people of Afghanistan.
- By irrigating 75000 hectares of land it is expected to significantly boost the agricultural economy of the province.
- Central Public Sector Unit M/s. WAPCOS under the aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- The height of the Dam is 104.3 metres, length 540 metres and width at the bottom is 450 metres. The gross capacity of the dam is 633 Million M3.
- All equipment and material required for the dam were transported from India to Iran’s Bander-e-Abbas port via sea route.
- It was further transported by road to Islam Kila border post at Iran-Afghanistan border and then further 300 km by road from the border post to the site.
- India has a strategic partnership with Afghanistan and is implementing number of infrastructure projects worth 2 billion dollars to help rebuild the country’s infrastructure.
- As part of India’s goodwill diplomacy it has been supporting an Afghanistan-led, Afghanistan-owned, broad-based and inclusive process of peace and reconciliation.
- India is also advocating the need for a sustained and long-term commitment to Afghanistan by the international community.
Herat province: It lies on the ancient trade routes of the Middle East, Central and South Asia. Roads from Herat to Turkmenistan, Iran, and other parts of Afghanistan are considered strategically important.