Amir Amanullah Khan Award Conferred

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with Amir Amanullah Khan Award, the Afghanistan’s highest civilian honour.

He was awarded the honour by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after the inauguration of the landmark Afghan-India Friendship Dam. PM Modi is on visit to Afganistan.

Amanullah Khan was the Sovereign of the Kingdom of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Emir and after 1926 as Malik (King).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurated a landmark dam, a Rs 1,700 crore showpiece infrastructure project by India in strategically important Herat province, reflecting India’s strong commitment to reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

The Afghan-India Friendship Dam, earlier known as Salma Dam, on river Chist-e-Sharif in western Herat neighbouring Iran, will irrigate 75,000 hectares of land and generate 42 MW of power.

Modi was in Afganistan as part of his five-nation tour and it is his second visit to Afghanistan in less than six months.

Touted as a “landmark” infrastructure project, the dam located 165 km east of Herat town, is expected to significantly boost the agricultural economy of the province.

The project has been executed and implemented by WAPCOS Ltd, a government of India undertaking under ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

All equipment and material required for the dam were transported from India to Bander-e-Abbas port of Iran via sea route and then along 1200 km by road from there to Islam Kila border post at Iran-Afghanistan border and then further 300 km by road from the border post to the site.

Over 1,500 Indian and Afghan engineers were involved in construction of the dam for several years in difficult condition.

Afghanistan is Modi’s first stop as part of his five-nation tour which will also take him to Qatar, Switzerland, the US and Mexico.

Modi had visited Kabul on December 25 last year during which he had inaugurated a swanky Parliament complex that was built by India at a cost of USD 90 million.

India has a strategic partnership with Afghanistan and is implementing projects worth USD 2 billion to help rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

India has been supporting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, broad-based and inclusive process of peace and reconciliation, and advocating the need for a sustained and long-term commitment to Afghanistan by the international community.

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