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India to complete dam for safe drinking water in Kabul

India on Tuesday announced an agreement with Afghanistan to complete a dam which will provide safe drinking water to the residents of Kabul. Laying out the Indian initiatives in the “Afghanistan 2020 Conference”, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said India will continue to support developmental activities and called for “immediate and comprehensive” ceasefire in the war-torn country.

“I am happy to announce today an agreement with Afghanistan for building the Shatoot dam which would provide safe drinking water to 2 million residents of Kabul city. It builds on the 22-km Phul-e-Khumri transmission line of 2009 through which we provided power to the city,” said Mr. Jaishankar announcing that India will also carry out Phase-IV of the High Impact Community Development Projects which will include 150 projects involving $80 million.

Mr. Jaishankar highlighted Indian commitment to ensure connectivity saying there is a need to ‘address’ the challenges that emerge from Afghanistan’s land locked geography. He said the Iranian port of Chabahar was used to transport 75,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan during the pandemic season. “We were also able to send more than 2 tonnes of life-saving medicines and other equipment to address the COVID-19 challenge,” said Mr. Jaishankar.

Presenting Indian concerns regarding the ongoing negotiations which are being threatened by increased violence, the External Affairs Minister said India “strongly believes that the gains of the last two decades must be preserved and the interests of minorities, women and vulnerable sections must be ensured”.

The meeting in Geneva, attended by the major international dignitaries through virtual mode, was held even as a twin blast took place in the Bamyan province on Tuesday killing 13 and leaving dozens injured. Mr. Jaishankar said, “The increasing level of violence remains a matter of grave concern. While we support all efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, India calls for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.”

The Minister reiterated India’s traditional support for an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace process.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 11:42:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-to-complete-dam-for-safe-drinking-water-in-kabul/article33173127.ece

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