Sunday July 9, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The technical study and design contract of new Salang tunnel has been signed between the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) and an Australian Company (SMEC) worth 32 million USD here at the Chief Executive Office.
The new tunnel would be 12 kilometers long from Doshakh area of Baghlan province to Awlang area of Parwan. Public Works Minister Mahmood Baleegh told reporters after signing the technical studies and design contract with SMEC, an Australian company, said the project would be completed in two and half years at a cost of $32 million donated by Japan.
He said the current tunnel was built by the Soviet Union more than 50 years ago and suffered huge damages. Thus there is a serious need for construction of an alternative tunnel to bypass the Hindukosh mountainous areas, he added. The director of the Asian Development Bank said the project would bring transportation and business facilitates, adding the tunnel would connect the central Asia with south Asian countries. Meanwhile hinting to construction of the new tunnel, Japan ambassador to Kabul said his country would remain committed to rehabilitation of Afghanistan, adding the country has so far donated 6.2 billion USD to Afghanistan and would fund 53 percent of Salang tunnel.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah said: “It is my pleasure to see a project that will help the country economy, transportation and transit trade being launched,” He said the construction of new Salang tunnel was part of the national unity government’s commitment as the current transit routes were not enough to fulfill all transportation, traffic and trading requirements. CEO said work on Dushi-Bamyan road was underway and primary steps for the construction of Khawak highway have been also taken. Pointing to Ministry of Public Works and the Australian company distribution, Dr. Abdullah called for quality works of the project. He also thanked the Asian Development Bank and the Japan for funding the project.