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Turkmenistan and Iran decided to speed up construction of dam on frontier river

Frontier river, which in Turkmenistan is called Tejen and in Iran - Gerirud is very unsteady. In spring it threats to cause flood while in summer, when water is worth its weight in gold, it becomes a lazy streamlet.

The idea of joint construction of dam and water reservoir along the borders of the both states was expressed yet during the first years of independence of Turkmenistan. However, all details were negotiated and coordinated only in 1996 and the Turkmen leader Saparmurat Niyazov and the then Iranian president Ali-Akbar Khashemi Rafsanjani managed to lay a foundation of the future hydro-technical complex near Pulikhatum in 75 km from border Turkmen Seraxs. Dam was symbolically named Dostluk - i.e. Drujba. In July 1996 the Iranian company Jiyan started construction of reinforced concrete ground gallery with length of 430 meters. When it was ready in January of 2001 two other companies - Iranian Kulkhan and Turkmenistan's Karakumderyasucgurlushik - linked to this project.

Laying of background of the dam, construction of electric power lines and internal electricity are under the way. A huge building site is located down in the mountain gorge carved for hundreds of years by Tejen - Gerirud. The height of the future dam will make 78 meters, length from one side of gorge to the other - 655 meters. It will keep billion and a quarter of cubic meters of water, the area of a water basin will make about 48 square kilometers. It is typical that the neighbors agreed to share water 50/50.

The total cost of the construction under the estimations will cost USD 167,53 million. Other benefits promise be significant: in Turkmenistan and in Iran due to additional irrigation water it will be possible to cultivate in addition 25 thousand hectares of the grounds in each state. Construction is especially important for the Iranian side, as in their adjoining territory a special economic area Serakhs is located, which is of great importance in Teheran.It is no casual that during visiting this area the former president of Iran Rafsajani has declared about the plans on future linking of other neighboring regions to Seraskh.

Recently, the meeting of heads of branch departments of Turkmenistan and Iran took place on the construction area. The participants of the meeting discussed opportunities for speeding up the construction. The new terms of putting the site into operation was fixed based on the opinion of experts - 2004 instead of 2005 as it was planned earlier. These changes meet the interests of the both states.

Construction of such huge hydraulic engineering construction is a good example of mutually beneficial cooperation of two neighbouring countries, joint solution of problems the sides facing.

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By Muhammed Shaldiyev

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