Alchin Bridge’s destruction causes losses to traders, people
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The destruction of Alchin Bridge in northern Kunduz province between Afghanistan and Tajikistan has created serious transit problems for traders and people.
Kunduz officials say the 300 meters-long and six meters wide bridge connecting three districts with Kunduz City is a key link between the two neighboring countries. The bridge was blown up by Taliban a week ago.
Kunduz chamber of commerce and industry officials say hundreds of trucks loaded with goods have been stuck on both sides of the bridge, affecting Afghanistan’s economy.
The chamber’s manager for industrial development, Massoud Wahdat, told Pajhwok Afghan News that traders daily incurred a loss amounting to $2 as a result of the bridge’s destruction.
He said business activity had declined in Kunduz as traders could not supply their goods to the market.
Hundreds of vehicles from Kunduz City, the provincial capital, reached districts and tens of cargo trucks moved between Afghanistan and Tajikistan daily through the bridge, he added.
Cement traders said they had stopped importing cement from Pakistan because the commodity imported from Tajikistan had good quality and sales, but Pakistani cement imports once again increased after the Alchin Bridge was destroyed.
A cement trader, Mansoor, said Pakistani cement was of low quality and expensive, but the Tajik cement had good quality and lower price. There had been no cement imports from Pakistan after Afghan traders began importing Tajikistani cement, he added
He asked the government to reconstruct the Alchin Bridge as soon as possible in order traders could resume imports and exports.
A provincial council member, Ghulam Rabbani Rabbani, also said the bridge’s destruction had created many problems for residents living on both sides because it connected four districts and Sher Khan port.
“We want the government to take decisive action for reconstruction of the bridge,” he said.
Residents of Qala Zal, Imam Sahib and Dasht-i-Acrchi districts, who use the bridge, said they were faced with many problems after the incident.
Firoz, a resident of Imam Sahib district, who was trying to help his ailing relative cross the river the bridge is constructed on, said: “One of my family member is ill, we crossed the river with extreme hardship.”
A day earlier, the ministries of defence and public works jointly started reconstructing the bridge.
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