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 on Friday.
“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.”
According to him, the dam has the capacity of storing 9 million cubic meters of water and it would irrigate 3,000 hectares of land.
Over $50 million has been invested in the dam, Baburi said, adding that the dam will generate 1.2 megawatts of power once it is operational.