Taliban Seize India-Assisted Salma Dam Hydro-Power Project in Herat, Afghanistan

World

The Salma dam – renamed the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in 2015 – is one of the biggest infrastructure projects built on Heray Rud river in the Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan.

The Taliban* militants entered the Salma Dam after they conquered Herat, the third largest Afghan city, as the troops guarding the project surrendered soon after Friday prayers. The development took place hours after former Herat governor and one of the strongest commanders of the country, Ismail Khan, surrendered to the Taliban.

​The Indian government had expressed a hope that the Taliban would not harm construction of the 107-metre high and 500-metre long dam. The dam, built at a cost of around $290 million, was handed over to Afghanistan in 2016.

“These are projects done with Indian assistance and support, but they belong to the government of Afghanistan. Once they are handed over, we don’t claim that they are ours. Of course, these are very useful and important projects for the development of Afghanistan, and we certainly hope that they won’t get damaged and will continue to provide benefits,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesman of the Indian foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The Indian mission in Kabul confirmed on Thursday that it had effected the emergency air rescue of three engineers from the dam. The Indian foreign ministry has urged Indian nationals to vacate the war-torn nation immediately to avoid having their life put “in…

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