10,000 km of roads asphalted countrywide
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Public Works Minister on Saturday said more than 10,000 kilometres of roads had been reconstructed across the country at a cost of $8 billion, but the President’s Special Representative for reforms and good governance said Afghanistan still lacked proper road networks.
Speaking at a national conference on land transport, Public Works Minister Mahmood Baligh said all the 10,000 kilometre roads had been asphalted with the help of the international community.
He said the government had prioritised building roads and railway lines because transport played a key role in a country’s economic development. He, however, said such projects needed enormous financial resources and time.
Ahmad Zia Massoud, President Ashraf Ghani’s special representative for reforms and good governance, said insufficient work had been done to improve the country’s road infrastructure.
“The geographical location of our country requires more investment in the road sector. This network can connect different parts of the country and serve as a link to many regional countries,” he remarked.
Massoud said corruption in the ministries of transport and public works in the past had affected the country’s transport system.
He said despite $8 billion expenditure on the transport system, the country still lacked proper road infrastructure.
Mohammadullah Batash, the transport and civil aviation minister, said: “Land transport needs utmost attention. We want to highlight the challenges through this conference and to find ways out.”
He said the current transport laws also needed amendments. He said corruptions in tax collection offices at ports were not acceptable and he wanted electronic weighbridges system to be installed.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries deputy director Khan Jan Alkozai criticized both the current and former governments for not paying heed to the development of the land transport system.
He said the transport laws needed changes since neighboring countries had freedom to enter Afghan cities with transit goods while Afghanistan did not enjoy the same.
He specifically mentioned Pakistani trucks that entered Afghanistan, saying Afghan lorries did not have the permission to enter Pakistan.
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