Six firms in the run for railroad feasibility study
Bids for the 220-kilometre railway line were opened a month back by the Ministries of Public Works and Finance, Deputy Public Works Minister Ahmad Shah Wahidi told Pajhwok Afghan News.
So far six foreign companies -- one each from America, Bangladeshi and a Kazakhstani and three from Iran, had offered bids, he said. The bidders also included Afghan firms.
A contract for the $1.5 million feasibility study of the track would be signed with one of the firms over the next two months, Wahidi added. An amount of half a million dollars has been allocated by the Public Works Ministry for the project and the rest will be provided by the Asian Development Bank.
The study will take six months to complete. The railway track is being constructed from Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, to northwestern Faryab province, which borders Turkmenistan.
The deputy minister said the project required $350 million and Turkmenistan had pledged the construction of a 35 kilometres track from the Aqina Port to the Andkhoi area of Faryab province.
Wahidi said if donors provided aid, his ministry planned to construct a railway line from the Sher Khan Port in Kunduz to Tajikistan and from the Aqina Port to Turkmenistan over the next three years.
On Wednesday, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) pledged $222 million in aid to Afghanistan for the construction of 145 kilometres of roads and establishment of an independent railways department.
Work on the construction of railway lines from Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul to the Torkham is expected to begin soon. A 75-kilomentre railroad between Mazar-i-Sharif and the Hairatan Dry Port has already been built with ADB assistance.
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