DUSHANBE, February 27, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Power engineering and water specialists both in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan realize well the significance and benefit of the Roghun hydroelectricity project, but the situation around Roghun’s construction has been exaggerated by politicians, Homidjon Arifov, secretary of Tajikistan’s national committee at the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), said in an interview with Asia-Plus commenting on the report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that noted that “the proposed Roghun Dam in Tajikistan is relevant because of its potential effects on energy security for Tajikistan and on water availability for Uzbekistan.”

According to Arifov, the project will benefit not only Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan but also Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan itself.  “According to experts’ estimates, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will be able to receive additional 6 cubic kilometers of water each when the dam is constructed,” said he.  “This amount would be enough to develop 300,000 more hectares of lands in neighboring countries or help save the Aral Sea.”

Arifov considers that the problem of providing the population and industry in Uzbekistan with electrical power becomes more acute in summer period because thermal power plants of Uzbekistan are under repair in summer and Roghun could help tackle that problem as well.

“More and more countries of the world and international organizations are seeing Roghun’s construction in proper perspective and realizing the necessity and benefit of the construction of this dam and I am sure that politicians that have blown up the problem will realize the necessity of implementation of this project within the next several years.”

The International Commission on Large Dams, or ICOLD, is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to the sharing of professional information and knowledge of the design, construction, maintenance, and impact of large dams.  It was founded in 1928 and has its central office in Paris, France.  It consists of 90 member national committees which have a total membership of about 10,000 individuals.