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    Contract for highway reconstruction terminated

    KHOST CITY (PAN): Officials in southeastern Khost and Paktia provinces on Wednesday announced the termination of a contract for the reconstruction of the Khost-Gardez highway.

    The contract between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Louise Berger Company had been cancelled, Paktia Public Works Director Eng. Abdullah Durani told Pajhwok Afghan News. 

    Unaware of the reason behind the contract termination, he said a new agreement would be assigned in the next solar year. "The USAID has assured us reconstruction work on the highway will resume based on a new contract with another company."

    The 102 kilometres highway was to be built at a cost of $100 million, with financial support from the USAID. The Louise Berger Company was contracted after an agreement with an Indian firm was scrapped three and half years ago.

    Eng. Mamoor Shah, the Khost public works director, confirmed the termination of the contract. "The road is ready for being paved. If not asphalted, rains and snowfall will destroy it," he warned.

    He said his department had informed the relevant ministry and sought assistance. Residents of the provinces were frustrated over contract termination for a third time, he added.

    Noor Ali, a taxi driver, suggested donors should contract reliable companies in order to prevent work stoppages and financial losses.  

    Esmatullah, a resident of Paktia, said most parts of the road had been damaged.