MEHTARLAM (Pajhwok): Some tribal elders and local residents in eastern Laghman province have demanded authorities to launch the construction of Shahi Canal project in Alingar district.
They said the construction of Shahi canal will facilitate the irrigation of thousands of hectares of barren land.
Mohammad Nader, a tribal elder from Alingar district, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The construction of Shahi Canal which starts from Alingar River will help irrigate thousands hectares of barren desert”.
Mohammad Qasem Sahibulhaq, another tribal elder of Badiul Ebad area of Mehtarlam, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok, the project will generate work opportunities to many residents and urged the acting government to launch the Shahi Canal project as soon as possible.
While some provincial officials said, Shahi Canal was first built by local people about 100 years ago which currently has the capacity of irrigating 300 hectares of land.
The second part of this project which will facilitate the flow of water from the older canal in Alingar district to Mehtarlam was back during the government of former President Mohammad Dawood Khan, but has never been implemented, the officials added.
Maualvi Sher Jan Rashidi, a senior official of Irrigation Department told Pajhwok: “The Shahi canal was dug about 100 years ago by the people of Shahi area of Alingar district which has the capacity of irrigation of 300 hectares of cultivation land”.
The new canal will facilitate the flow of river water from Alingar district to Mehtarlam district, he said.
According to the information of Rashidi, the (Alingar-Mehtarlam) canal works began in 2020 at the cost of $8 million and about 10 percent of its work was completed by this time.
The work over the project of this canal was stopped after the political change in the country, but it will begin soon, Rashid further added.
The technical, economical and land acquisition survey has been completed by the technical team of the Ministry of Water and Power recently.
According to Rashidi the construction of this canal will cost $50 million as estimated which will generate jobs to thousands of people and will irrigate thousands of acres of land.
Currently there is about 20,000 hectares of cultivated land in Laghman province, if the canal’s project is completed, the cultivated land in this province will reach to 40,000 hectares, Rashidi said.
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