4 Feb 2010 12:18

Uzbek opposition to Rogun HPP project is political

DUSHANBE. Feb 4 (Interfax) - The construction of the Rogun hydropower plant in Tajikistan, an independent examination of which is demanded by Uzbekistan, will have a positive effect on Uzbekistan's irrigation capacities, Secretary of the Tajik office of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Hamijan Arifov told Interfax on Thursday.

Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent an open letter to his Tajik counterpart Akil Akilov on Wednesday. "Before restarting the construction of the Rogun hydropower plant, it is necessary to make a detailed and independent examination of the project that was detailed about 40 years ago on the basis of outdated technologies," he said.

"A German company, Lahmeyer International, evaluated the Rogun HPP project recently and concluded that it would not damage the ecology or neighboring states," Arifov said.

"The statement by the Uzbek prime minister is exclusively political. It aims to prevent the development of Tajikistan," he said.

Tajikistan has been building the Rogun HPP for more than one year. Tashkent says that the creation of the large dam lake may dry up Uzbek farmland and may enable Tajikistan to regulate the water flow of Vakhsh, one of the biggest tributaries of Amu Darya.