Survey, design of new Salang tunnel to cost $31m
KABUL (Pajhwok): Survey and designing of a new Salang tunnel would begin over the next few months at a cost of $31 million paid by Japan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), officials said on Saturday.
A contract for the survey and designing works was signed today in Kanul between Financial Minister Eklil Hakimi, Public Works Minister Mahmod Baligh and ADB head in Afghanistan, Tom Panella.
Hakimi said the design and survey of the new Salang Tunnel needed $31 million, of which $15.2 million had been paid by ADB and the rest by Japan.
Baligh said the 12-kilometer tunnel would start from Aulang area in the southern region of Salang and end in Bushak area in the northern region of Salang.
He said the new Salang Tunnel would be one of the highest in the region. The designing process of the tunnel would begin in early 2017 and would complete in two years, he added.
Initial surveys about the new Salang Tunnel have already been done, but an international company would also launch a comprehensive survey after selecting a proper area, he said.
He added reconstruction and repairing of the current Salang Tunnel was also underway with ADB aid.
Baligh called the Salang tunnels important commercial and transit route and said besides connecting north with the south, most of commercial goods were also transferred through the route.
Around 5,500 transport vehicles passed the tunnel on a daily basis, he said, adding the new tunnel would provide more facilities for traffic.
He said ADB had donated $2.2 billion so far for construction of roads, railways and airports in Afghanistan.
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