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India powers Kabul

India powers Kabul

Author: Pranab Dhal Samanta
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: October 4, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-powers-kabul/524782/

Introduction: Power Grid Corporation complete 202-km-long transmission line and sub-station, next on India's agenda: a Kabul industrial park to tap excess power

Amid all the political wrangling over the presidential elections in Afghanistan and sharp differences over the military campaign among major countries, India quietly crossed an important milestone in its diplomatic efforts as it successfully completed a four-year effort to build a 202-km transmission line to bring electricity to power-starved Kabul.

Until this, the city was running on a single gas turbine and some 25 heavy duty diesel generators for which the US was providing over $100 million of fuel. Kabul had long power cuts and matters became worse during winter. With the recent launch of the transmission line and the Chimtala sub-station near Kabul, there has been a dramatic change.

The Chimtala sub-station today distributes 90-120 MW, which is enough for Kabul. While distribution needs to be streamlined to reach each household, there is now excess power and the Afghanistan government wants India to help start an industrial estate near Kabul. This may be the next big project for India because it has already funded a well-equipped tool room for skill training.

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