“I am used to the noise of democracy,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Afghanistan on Saturday in an apparent reference to the Opposition’s attacks on him back home.
Modi made the remark when Afghan national security adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar suggested to him to wear earmuffs after he boarded a helicopter for travelling to the Herat governor’s house from the airport after his arrival from New Delhi.
“I come from the world’s largest democracy. I am used to the noise of democracy,” Modi said with a smile, according to one of those on board the helicopter.
He went to the governor’s house to inaugurate the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, earlier known as Salma Dam power project, built by India at a cost of Rs 1,700 crore.
From the chopper, the Prime Minister noticed a micro-irrigation project and said it reminded him of Gujarat.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Modi inaugurated the multi-million-dollar dam in western Afghanistan on Saturday that will bring power and irrigation to vast tracts of the war-torn country.
The Afghan-India Friendship Dam was built with Indian aid at a cost of $300 million and was under construction for about a decade.
Foundations for the dam were laid about 40 years ago, also with Indian assistance, in the Chishti-Sharif district of Herat on the Heray Rud River. Construction was delayed by attacks on engineers, workers and guards.
The dam is 20km long and 3km wide, with a capacity of 640 million cubic meters of water. It is one of a number of dam projects that Ghani has slated for Afghanistan’s post-conflict development.