Highlights

The External Affairs Minister of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently proclaimed that the Geneva Donors conference that India is to construct the Shahtoot Dam across the river Maidan. River Maidan a tributary of river Kabul in Afghanistan. The bilateral negotiations to build the dam across the river began in 2016.
In 2016, India had funded for the Salma dam (known as Afghan-India Friendship Dam) across Hari river (Herat province) of Afghanistan.

Shahtoot Dam

The dam is to be constructed in Kabul river basin, one of the 5 river basins of Afghanistan. The Shahtoot dam will provide irrigation, drinking water for the Kabul province of the country. The Government of India sanctioned $305 million for the project.

Benefits of the project

Shahtoot dam will provide irrigation facilities to about 10 thousand hectares of agricultural land. It will supply drinking water to around 20 lakh (2 million) people in the city of Kabul. Also, it will recharge the underground water for drinking purposes in and around Kabul. Project will contribute to national food security by helping in the production of fishery, crops and industries. The project will also promote tourism and increase opportunities of income in the country.

Other Indian Projects In Afghanistan

Along with the Shahtoot dam, India has pledged to rebuild Afghanistan committing to $80 million worth projects. The Government of India announced around 150 projects in the conflict-ridden country.

Backdrop

Since 2002, Government of India has been committed to develop various regions in Afghanistan. So far India has contributed $3 million in rebuilding and reconstruction of Afghanistan. India did not invest in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 because the most of the states of Afghanistan was controlled by Taliban.

After the Taliban and United States peace deal, US agree to withdraw their soldiers and United States has been pressurising India to deploy its Army along with its own army to bring in peace in the country of Afghanistan and control Taliban. However, India refuted United States proposals. On the flip side, India collaborate with Afghan Government to developing the country by mainly helping in its infrastructure. This is because India believes that development is a permanent solution to end the conflict between Taliban and Afghan Government. Also, it is against the policy of India to involve in the military and security of other countries. India to build Shahtoot dam in Afghanistan India to build Shahtoot dam in Afghanistan