Summoned by the Upper House of the Parliament on Tuesday, Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan said that for every major dam project more than USD 4 billion is required.
He added that despite all the challenges, work on six major dams is in the process.
“Domestic power is costly and it requires much time and investment. You are aware that the dams are located far from the cities and there is a widespread insecurity in those areas. At the Bakhsh Abad Dam, we would pay USD 100 monthly to the local Mullah and elderly people. People, instead of being happy that a dam project is initiated in their area, would require us to pay them money. “
The Upper House members criticized the Ministry for its failure in paying attention to the construction of dams for the past 10 years.
Senators Anarkali Hunaryar and Khaliq Dad Balaghi expressed their concern about the lack of electricity in the country. They said that today we are relying on imported power for our electricity.
“What will happen if the neighboring countries stop supplying us power? What solutions can the dams provide to help us become self-reliant? Today, only 20% of people in the West of Kabul have access to electricity.”
In response to their concerns, Minister Ismail Khan said that neighboring countries, particularly Turkmenistan, have invested a lot in the power sector of Afghanistan and they would never disconnect their power supply to Afghanistan.
Minister Ismail Khan added that 10 years ago only 6% of Kabul city had access to Kabul city, today that figure has amounted to 36%.