Chinese firm accused of failing to enforce uplift projects
SAR-I-PUL CITY (Pajhwok): Some officials and residents have accused the China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) of failing to keep its pledge to extract crude oil from Amu River and implement development projects in northern Sar-i-Pul province.
They complained non-implementation of the contract had created problems for the people. The contract for exploration and extraction of crude oil in Amu River between Afghanistan and Central Asian countries was inked between the CNPCI and the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum in 2011.
For the first time, the extraction of crude oil in Sar-i-Pul province, which is included in the Amu River region, began in the 2012 summer but the process was later halted for unknown reasons in the beginning of 2015. However, it resumed two months back.
Officials and residents also blasted the Chinese firm for not adhering to the pledges it had held out before the launch of work. They said hiring of 90 percent workforce from Sar-i-Pul, making necessary arrangements for environmental protection, maintaining cooperation with locals and asphalting the Ring Road were among the promised made by the company.
Abdullah, hailing from Imam Khurd locality, hit out at the Chinese company for being unable to honour its pledges; instead the firm had created more problems for the people. He said oil tankers plied the asphalted roads to the Hairatan port in Balkh province.
He lamented the roads were in terrible condition because of heavy trucks plying them so frequently.
Hafizullah, a resident of Rahmatabad area, said: “Heavily-loaded tankers have destroyed asphalted roads in our locality, where mud and dirt can be seen all around. We are worried about our children’s safety. The roads are not wide and we fear traffic accidents.”
Mohammad Noor Rahmani, a member of the provincial council, said they had convoyed public concerns to officials of the Chinese company. According to the public representative, the CNPCI will implement the projects it has pledged.
Governor Mohammad Zahir Wahdat also assailed the Chinese firm for not redeeming the promises it had made. He blamed heavily-loaded trucks for damaging the water supply system in parts of the provincial capital.
Wahdat said he had tried to get a copy of the contract inked between the CNPCI and Ministry of Petroleum to educate the people on the deal. However, he was unable to do so. The company had earlier said it had suffered losses that delayed the projects.
Eng. Abdul Wase Hameed, the site manager for the Amu River region crude oil excavation process, pledged no tankers would be allowed to go through city roads. He alleged drivers on their own carried passed through the city.
About water spray on dirt roads, he said some tankers had been assigned with doing so thrice in a day.
The driver of a tanker, carrying crude to the Hairatan port, said security officials allowed them to travel inside the city because other roads were not asphalted and hence uncomfortable for drive. Pajhwok tried repeatedly to ascertain comments of security officials but was unable to make any contact.
The Amu River crude oil region is comprised of areas in Sar-i-Pul and Faryab provinces where, according to surveys, 87 million barrels of crude oil exist. It is considered to be one of the largest oil reserves in Afghanistan.
At the launch of the extraction work, officials said 4,500 individuals had been provided work in different sections on the project. According to Eng. Wase, 1,022 individuals had been hired. Of the 37 still working on the project, 11 are from Sar-i-Pul.
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