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Work on CASA-1000 to kick off soon

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Tuesday that work on CASA-1000 power transition project will kick off in near future as the stakeholders during a meeting have reached vital improvements in this regard.

MoFA spokesman Shekib Mostaghni told newsmen in Kabul that the World Bank, USAID and other organizations which are funding the project have underlined the need for finalizing the important project.

He said the World Bank has pledged $526 million for completion of CASA-1000 power project.

He said that after announcing financial support for the project in March, the World Bank has vowed $526 million as part of the $17 billion cost of the scheme.

According to him, candidates for installation of multi-terminal HVDC converter stations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan along with HVDC Line from Sangtuda to Peshawar through Kabul will be announced in the upcoming month.

He said that financial and transitional parts of the project have been given final touches and construction work on the project will kick off in near future.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Afghanistan will import 300 megawatts of power and Pakistan 1,000 megawatts of power.

A number of critics say they were optimistic about the government’s recent struggles for starting mega economic projects that can bring seismic changes in Afghans’ life and can improve economy of Afghanistan.

Radio Azadi quoted Taj Mohammad Akabar, an analyst in economic affairs, as saying that the government should work seriously on the projects. He said the CASA-1000 project is not only important for Afghanistan but also for Pakistan and its people.

He added that several Afghans will be provided job opportunity through the project and Afghanistan can receive transit tax from the project once it was completed.

Despite the optimism about CASA-1000 project, a number of analysts believe that the main hurdle for the project is insecurity and insurgent activities which will impede its implementation.

However, security officials have assured that will leave no stone unturned to provide safe environment for implementation of the CASA-1000 project.

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