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    $1b contract signed to begin work on New Kabul City plan

    KABUL (PAN): A contract worth one billion USD was signed in Kabul on Wednesday to commence work on the country’s largest-ever residential scheme that would accommodate 1.5 million people of the sprawling city’s 4.5 million population.

    Mapped in Deh Sabz district north of Kabul, the “New Kabul City” residential scheme is being implemented under a master plan, which was approved in 2009 by the Cabinet.

    The contract was signed between the New Kabul City Independent Board and an international consortium led by an American corporation with partners from Canada, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Australia, Germany and Afghanistan.

    Spread over 185,000 acres of land, the project was first initiated by a Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2006.

    Ghulam Sakhi Hassanzada, the board’s deputy chairman, told a press conference the contract had been signed to launch the project’s first phase.

    He said more than 6,000 housing complexes with facilitates for 40,000 people would be constructed as part of the project that would provide 7,000 people with jobs.

    The consortium director, Riffat Bashir Ludin, said a team of engineers and professionals from different countries had been appointed to oversee and manage the project’s affairs.

    He called the project one of the world’s rare and unique in the region, “where everyone can have a house.”He promised efforts for making the project a success.

    Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) in a statement praised the private sector firms for taking part in the project.

    Senior minister and head of Independent Board of New Kabul project, Hedayat Amin Arsala hailed the project as one of Afghanistan’s mega housing schemes, saying it would set an example in the region.

    Four contracts worth $5 billion have already been signed with Afghan and international companies on initiating the project’s phase first. It is said $80 billion will be spent on the entire project.

    mrh/mds



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