What are the Major Projects India has invested $3 billion in Afghanistan over the years

Afghanistan

With the fall of Kabul, Taliban 2.0 is in Afghanistan again with more aggression, more strategic than before, and a bit diplomatic. Afghanistan may be called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.  It’s a grave concern that the Taliban will be as brutal as before 2001. 

Taliban reign 1.0 ended with the invasion of the USA. And with that, India Started a new relation with Afghanistan under the protective umbrella of the USA. From a strategic point of view, this relation was necessary.

India poured development in Afghanistan. Over time, India has built vital roads, schools, dams, buildings, electrical transmissions lines, hospitals, etc. India has delivered progress in the country. Even the Taliban recognized recently, one of the spokespeople stated that “it’s good what India has done for the people of Afghanistan.” 

India has invested 3 billion USD in Afghanistan. Which seems went in vain. This article will see all the major investments India has made in Afghanistan over the years. 

ZARAN-DELMARG highway:  India built this high profile 218 km road worth 150 million USD, under border roads organization projects. Zaranj-Delram highway is located near Afghanistan-Iran Border. Around 300 engineers, laborers, and afghan people built this road. 11 Indian and 129 local people lost their lives in this project. Of those 11, 6 were killed by terrorists, and 5 of them were in accidents. Kabul to Delhi connectivity got much more accessible through this highway. However, Iran’s Chabahar Port Delhi can reach Kabul. 

Last year Indian external minister Jai Shankar said that India Exported 75 thousand tonnes of wheat tons through this route. During the pandemic. Along with this critical project, India built several minor roads.  

SALMA DAM

Salma Dam
Salma Dam. Photo: ANI

another significant investment India has made in Salma Dam hydroelectric project in the Herat region. It symbolizes Afghan-India friendship. This 42MW dam is built and inaugurated in 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mini Ratna Company DUPCOS has built this DAM at the cost of 275 million USD. Taliban took control of this DAM after killing security officers a few days ago.

STOR PALACE: Initially built in the 19th century, Stor palace housed the afghan ministry & foreign minister until 1965. A tripartite agreement was signed between India, Afghanistan, and the Aga Khan Development network to restore this palace. Afghan prime minister and Narendra Modi inaugurated the Stor palace in 2016. 

AFGHANISTAN PARLIAMENT

Afghanistan Parliament
Parliament of Afghanistan

 India built Kabul located parliament in 2015 at the cost of 90 million USD. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the parliament. The building was a tribute to democracy in Afghanistan. A Block in this parliament is named after Indian Former Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE:  Indira Gandhi Institute of child health is one of the biggest hospitals in the area. Originally built in 1971, it was demolished in 1996 when the Taliban came into power. Reconstruction started when the Taliban reign ended in 2001. it was completed in 2007. Many Indian Medical camps have been held there. 

apart from this, many clinics have been built by india at Badakhshan, Balkh, Kandahar, Khost, Kunar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nooristan, Paktia and Paktika.

POWER INFRASTRUCTURE:  rebuilding of power infrastructure has been one of the main projects. In which 220kV DC transmission line provides sufficient electricity in Kabul. This line goes from Pul-e-Khumri, Baghlan Province Capital, to the north of Kabul. Along with Power lines, Telecommunication lines also has been restored in many provinces. 

TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT: For public transportation, India has gifted 400 buses and 200 mini-buses to Afghanistan. Other than that, Afghan National forces got 285 military vehicles, ten ambulances for public hospitals in five different cities. India gave three Air India Aircraft to Ariana, The Afghan National Carrier.

OTHER INVESTMENTS: Among so many projects, India has done a lot for afghan people, such as the construction of sulabh toilets in villages, Installing solar panels in remote areas,

New Delhi has given scholarships to afghan students, a training program for doctors, a mentoring program in civil services.  India has contributed benches and desc for schools. 

ONGOING PROJECTS: Indian External Affairs minister Jaishankar announced in the geneva convention in November that India Afghanistan had an agreement to build the Shatoot Dam in the Kabul district. Once active, it will provide safe drinking water to 20 million people.  He also announced to start 100 community development projects worth 80 million USD.

Last year India also pledged 1 million USD for another AGA khan Project. Restoration of Bala Hissar fort. Built-in the 6th century. Mughal king Jahangir made the part of it, and shah Jahan used it. 

With the return of the Taliban once again in Afghanistan, fears are being raised about India’s investment of $ 3 billion. In such a situation, it’s way too soon to say precisely how this will turn out. India has its eyes on the unfolding events in Afghanistan. India’s move will decide many things in the world’s geopolitics.