Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar led the Indian delegation in the 2020 Afghanistan Conference that was organized in Geneva. The conference was held on November 23 and 24, 2020.
Afghanistan Conference 2020
- During the conference, India announced major commitments towards the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan.
- India has reaffirmed the agreement to construct the Shahtoot dam, which would provide safe drinking water to 2 million residents of Kabul city.
- India also pledged to launch Phase-IV of High Impact Community Development Projects in Afghanistan, including 150 projects worth USD 80 million.
- India is also pursuing to provide alternate connectivity through Chabahar port and a dedicated Air Freight Corridor between India and Afghanistan. Also, during COVID-19 assistance of 75,000 tonnes of wheat has been transported to Afghanistan from India through the Chabahar port.
- The Minister also highlighted that the development portfolio of India of over US$ 3 billion for Afghanistan aims to build capabilities and capacities for Afghans as well as its institutions for improving public service and governance.
- Various projects that have been completed are India Afghanistan friendship dam; construction of 218 km road from Delaram to Zaranj and Afghan Parliament.
Key Points related to Shahtut Dam
The agreement regarding the construction of the Shahtut Dam was concluded at the conference. The dam is proposed to be built on the 202-km Phul-e-Khumri transmission line, in the Kabul river basin. This project will estimately cost around US$120 to $305 million. A feasibility study on the project was also completed in 2012 at the cost of USD 1.86 million. In addition to providing drinking water to the residents of Kabul city, the dam will also help in the irrigation of 4000 hectares of land in the Khairabad and Charasiab districts.