By: Shukria Kohistani
Afghanistan Kunduz local officials have informed that construction work on CASA – 1000 power project is underway, adding that 65 percent of its work has been completed so far. CASA-1000 is a major power project that will transfer 300 megawatts of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Governor of Kunduz Abdul Satar Mirzakwal has told media that the project would be completed in coming months as there was not any major problem in implementation of the project in the province.
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat (DABS) has also informed of considerable progress in construction work on the power project, saying that the project will be completed in last 2022.
The CASA-1000 project has started from Kyrgyzstan and it has already reached Afghanistan’s Kunduz through Tajikistan and will finally onward to Pakistan. The project will go through Kunduz, Baghlan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Kabul, Laghman and Nangarhar provinces. Based on information of Afghan officials, a big substation of the power will be created in Pul-e-Khumri, the provincial capital of Baghlan.
With the implementation of the project, 1300 megawatts of electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be transmitted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan will receive 300 megawatts of power and the remaining one thousand megawatts will be transmitted to Pakistan via Afghanistan territory.
The project is estimated more than $ 1billion, half of which will be provided by the World Bank. Implementation of the project in Afghanistan will cost $225 million. Afghan officials say with completion of the power project, the country will get nearly $45 million income tax from its transit annually.
Meanwhile, Afghan experts believe that implementation of development projects in Afghanistan can be an effective step towards self-sufficiency of Afghanistan and development of the country. They said most power reservoirs of Afghanistan have not been used so far, stressing that the country would soon reach self-sufficiency from the perspective of power and energy if the government could better use of the reservoirs for the betterment of the country.
Based on information of Afghan officials, Afghanistan is rich in various mines, minerals, previous stones and water as the country’s capacity for production of electricity is 24,000 megawatts that can be provided from water and mines resources in the country.
Afghanistan has spent lots of money to manage and control its waters and there are hopes that the country will reach self-sufficiency from the point of water and energy in coming years.
It is worth mentioning President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, accompanied by high-ranking government officials, opened Kamal Khan dam to better manage and control the country’s waters.
The dam in Chahar Burjak district of the province has a 52 million cubic meters capacity and will irrigate 174,000 hectares of land. The dam is located 95 km from the city of Zaranj, capital of the province.
The dam built along the Helmand River will irrigate 174,000 hectares of land in three districts and will also supply water to the provincial center. It is expected to provide nine megawatts of power, and, in the first stage, it will store 52 million cubic meters of water, according to the National Water Affairs Regulation Authority.