Work underway to increase Kajaki Dam capacity

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Officials from the Islamic Emirate said work continues on Kajaki dam to increase its hydropower production capacity.

The Kajaki Dam is on the Helmand River, 160 km from Kandahar. It provides electricity to the area and also is used to irrigate farmland. Currently, it produces 51-megawatts of electricity. Officials said it has decided to increase the capacity of the dam to produce up to 150-megawatts.

By the new solar year the dam will have the capacity to produce 150-megawatts, officials said. “Based on our information, work on the Kajaki dam has been 90 percent completed and we hope it finishes soon,” deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate Bilal Karimi said.

Meanwhile, a number of residents of Kandahar province welcomed the move and urged the Islamic Emirate to provide them with more sustainable electricity. “This will be very good for Kandahar and Helmand provinces because these provinces have less electricity,” said Shamsullah Omari, a resident of Kandahar.

Amanullah Ghalib, the former chairman of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, said increasing the capacity of Kajaki Dam will decrease electricity shortage in the southern provinces. “The current power line from Kajaki dam to Kandahar has a very limited capacity, its capacity should be increased so the southern provinces can benefit from electricity,” he said.

The much-anticipated Shah wa Arus Dam in Kabul’s Shakar Dara district will be inaugurated in the upcoming days, officials said as they visited the construction site.

“We are finally in a stage to address legal issues with the residents and inaugurate the dam next weekend,” Kabul governor Mohammad Yaqub Haidari said.

The construction of Shah wa Arus Dam was interrupted many times due to technical and security issues and it took at least 11 years to be completed.

Shakardara residents complained about the delays in the construction of the dam and said their houses and lands are in an area where the dam has been constructed and that the government has not paid them compensations for their properties.

“It has been ten years that the people are expecting the completion of the project. During this period, the people could not look after their gardens and trees,” a resident of Shakardara said.

But officials vowed to make sure the dam becomes operational properly.

“I promise you all that no technical issue will be there… We are here to prepare for collecting water in the reservoir of the dam,” said Wais Basiri, the deputy head of the National Water Affairs Regulation Authority.

The district governor of Shakar Dara, Gawhar Khan Baburi, said there is a need for joint efforts by many government institutions to protect the dam against possible harms.

“The Ministry of Energy and Water and other relevant institutions have said that that the dam is a national project; therefore, more attention should be paid to it,” he said. “I thank all Afghan security forces for ensuring the safety of the dam.”—Tolo News

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