Oldest dry port being revived in Jawzjan
SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): The new government plans to revive a defunct dry port once a busy transit trade route between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in northern Jawzjan province, with local officials hoping the revival would help increase oil imports and reduce prices.
The Kalfat dry port, one of the country’s oldest, is situated in the Qarqin district near the Turkmenistan border.
Jawzjan deputy governor Abdul Rahman Mahmoudi said the Kalfat port had been a major trade centre for residents living on both sides of the Amu River until mid-1960s before the establishment of the Hairatan dry port. People from both sides of the river would buy, sell and exchange commercial goods via the port.
The port lost much of its significance after the Hairatan port was officially opened but people continued to do business through the route until the Taliban came into power in late 1990s.
The deputy governor said it had been decided that the Kalfat dry port would be revived and made functional soon and initial works on construction of an oil preservation centre and warehouses had been launched.
Mahmoudi said a bridge would be constructed over the Amu River for vehicular movement between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
Currently commercial goods are taken across the Amu River by boats because a narrow bridge on the river is not useable for the purpose.
Provincial Commerce and Industry deputy head Eng. Allah Bardi Sarkhi said the Kalfat dry port was officially inaugurated between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in 1934. Afghans would import kerosene oil and export cotton, wool and hides used in making caps to Turkmenistan.
“It is expensive to import petroleum products through the Hairatan port. The Kalfat dry port will allow direct imports from Turkmenistan to Jawzjan and that will help significantly reduce prices.”
Faridullah Shirzai, head of Oil and Gas Enterprise Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said the ministries of commerce of the two countries had already signed an agreement on the project.
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