Anti-Gov’t Protest Held in Afghan Capital over Power Line Project
KABUL (Tasnim) – Hundreds of Afghan protesters held a gathering in Kabul in protest against a controversial decision by the country’s government about a multi-million dollar power transmission line project known as TUTAP.
According to Tasnim dispatches, protesters in the Afghan capital demanded that the planned route for the 500 kV transmission line linking Turkmenistan with Kabul be changed.
The gathering was held by a social group called “Lighting Movement” in Kabul on Friday with a number of Afghan parliamentarians in attendance.
Only about 30 percent of Afghanistan is connected to electricity and modernizing the creaking power system, which is subject to frequent blackouts, has been a top priority for the government.
Under current plans, due to be implemented by 2018, the power line would pass from a converter station in the northern town of Pul-e-Khumri through the mountainous Salang pass to Kabul.
Demonstrators want an earlier version of the plan that would see a longer route from Pul-e-Khumri through Bamyan and Wardak, to the west of Kabul.
The government says that switching the route would delay the project by as much as three years, leaving millions without secure electricity.