Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Rs 1,700 crore Afghan-India Friendship Dam, the Salma Dam, along with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in that country’s Herat province on Saturday.
The multipurpose project, undertaken by Indian Government on river Chist-e-Sharif in the province concerned, is expected to irrigate 75,000 hectares of land and generate 42 mega watt power, besides ensuring water supply and other benefits to local people.
Touted as a “landmark” infrastructure project, the dam is located 165 km east of Herat town and connected with earthen road, the Union Water Resources Ministry said in a statement.
“Due to security reasons Indian engineers and technicians involved with the project have been reaching the site once in a month by helicopter service provided by Government of Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The Ministry said that all the equipment and material required for the dam work were transported from India to Bander-e-Abbas port of Iran via sea and then along 1200 km by road from there to Islam Kila border post at Iran-Afghanistan border and then further 300 km by road from the border post to the site.
“Cement, steel reinforcement, explosives etc were imported to Afghanistan from neighboring countries. The gross capacity of the Dam is 633 Million M3. The height of the Dam is 104.3 Mt, length 540 Mt and width at the bottom is 450 Mt,” it said.
Funded by Indian Government, the successful completion of the project represents culmination of years of hard work by 1,500 Indian and Afghan engineers and other professionals in “very difficult” conditions, the Ministry said.
The project is executed and implemented by WAPCOS Ltd, a public sector enterprise under the Water Resources Ministry.