Preliminary study of trans-Afghan railroad completes
KABUL (Pajhwok): Preliminary study of the Afghan section of the proposed Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Tajikistan railway project has been completed and the final feasibility analysis is expected to be complete within six months, an official said on Friday.
Preliminary works on the feasibility study have already been completed to lay the 430km section of the railroad inside Afghanistan, a route that will link the landlocked country to a regional transport network.
In March 2013, after the trilateral high level meeting, President Karzai signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his Turkmen and Tajik counterparts on the construction of the Trans-Afghan railway.
A day earlier, a meeting of the Joint Coordination Group on the Review of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project held in Ashgabat.
The meeting reportedly discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation in the field of transport in the context of implementing the memorandum of understanding on railway line.
The project has been implemented since early June 2013. It is important for strategic, political and economic interests of all participants of the project. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan are expected to join it in the future.
Mohammad Yama Shams, the Afghanistan Railway Department head, told Pajhwok Afghan News the feasibility analysis, having technical and economic aspects, would be complete within six months and construction work on the railway line would formally begin at a cost of $900 million soon after the analysis was done.
The proposed railway track, he said, has a 635-kilometre length, with 430 kilometres passing inside Afghanistan and rest in Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
He said the Afghan Ministry of Finance was in talks with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance the project in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and Tajikistan had already assured cooperation in laying the track in Afghanistan.
The bank has approved a US$754m multi-tranche package of transport assistance for Afghanistan, including around US$300m for the extension of the recently-completed 75km Hayratan– Mazar-i-Sharif railway, 225 km west to Andkhvoy.
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