DUSHANBE, April 6, 2011, Asia-Plus -- “Establishment by Uzbekistan of a national committee on large dams can be considered as a new Uzbekistan’s initiative aimed against construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) in Tajikistan,” Georgy Petrov, head of the hydropower engineering lab at the Institute for Water, Hydropower and Environmental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, by establishing this committee, Uzbekistan has joined a very serious international organization – the International Commission on Large Dams.  “Participation in this organization gives an opportunity to communicate with leading international specialists and consult them,” the expert stressed.

He is surprised that Tajikistan has not yet established the national committee on large dams.  “I am sure that Tajikistan should establish such a committee as soon as possible, because this will give Tajikistan an opportunity to efficiently settle many arising issues, including Roghun’s construction.  Besides, we will learn to use international experience of construction of large dams.”

We will recall that Uzbekistan’s government has recently issued a decree on establishment of the national committee on large dams.  Uzbek media outlets report the committee is established in order to promote the country’s interests regarding provision of safety of large dams and rational use of trans-boundary water resources.

“The new committee is established for the purpose of expanding Uzbekistan’s interactions with organizations responsible for providing safety of hydraulic facilities in the region as well as drawing attention of international community to the planned construction of large dams in Central Asia, in particular the Roghun HPP in Tajikistan,” press center of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources reported.

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.