New Delhi: The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday approved the reconstruction and completion of Salma Dam Project in Afghanistan at the revised cost estimate of Rs 1,775.69 crore, an official statement said.

Salma dam project, on the upper reaches of Hari Rud River in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, involves construction of a 107.5 meter high earth and rock-fill dam and a 42 MW powerhouse with three units of 14 MW each.

The project has potential to irrigate 75,000 hectares of land, and is scheduled to be completed by June 2016. It is being executed by WAPCOS, a central public sector unit under the water resources ministry, said the statement, adding availability of power and water through the project upon its successful completion will lead to the overall economic development of the western region of Afghanistan and generate goodwill for India.

The release said that foreign exchange rate variation between Indian rupee and US dollar, increase in consultancy charges due to extended period of project completion, training of Afghan personnel were among reasons which have necessitated revision in the project cost.

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