India, Afghanistan sign pact to build Shahtoot dam in Kabul               

at 4:06 pm
Shahtoot dam

New Delhi (NVI): India and Afghanistan today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Lalandar (Shatoot) Dam in Kabul, in another step towards bolstering the friendly ties between the two countries.

The dam would help provide drinking water to residents of Kabul city.

The MoU was signed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

While speaking on the occasion, PM Modi highlighted the civilizational relationship between India and Afghanistan and gave an assurance of India’s continued support for a peaceful, united, stable, prosperous and inclusive Afghanistan.

He also talked about earlier projects by India in the country, besides supplies of PPE and Covid-19 vaccines. Afghanistan received a consignment of 5,00,000 doses of Indian made Covid vaccines on Sunday.

The project is a part of the New Development Partnership between India and Afghanistan, MEA said. “The Lalander Dam would meet the safe drinking water needs of Kabul City, provide irrigation water to nearby areas, rehabilitate the existing irrigation and drainage network, aid in flood protection and management efforts in the area, and also provide electricity to the region,” read the MEA statement.

This is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan, after the India- Afghanistan Friendship Dam (Salma Dam), which was inaugurated by the PM Modi and the Afghan President in June 2016, the Ministry said.

“Signing of the MoU on Lalandar [Shatoot] Dam is a reflection of India’s strong and long-term commitment towards the socio-economic development of Afghanistan and the enduring partnership between our two countries. As a part of our Development Cooperation with Afghanistan, India has completed more than 400 projects covering all 34 provinces of Afghanistan,” it said.