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Funds shortage halts work on Nangarhar bridges

Funds shortage halts work on Nangarhar bridges

Mar 12, 2015 - 15:25

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Construction work on three important bridges in eastern Nangarhar province has hit snags as Ministries of Finance and Public Works have failed to provide funds to contractors, officials said on Thursday.

The governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News the construction of Behsud, Farm Hada and Jandarma bridges in Jalalabad were 50 percent complete.

But he said construction work on the Farm Hada and Jandarma bridges had been stopped and work on Behsud bridge had been slow because the ministries had not transferred the budget for the projects.

 “The construction of the bridges started earlier this solar year and the projects have to be completed within a year. But the relevant ministries have failed to release funds to the construction companies,” the official alleged.

He added work on the Behsud bridge was previously stopped but resumed after provincial officials helped the company. He asked the central government to transfer the budget promptly because spring rains might create further problems.

But Public Works Director Eng. Rassoul Gul Faqir said that the ministry concerned had issued cheques to the companies. He linked the delay due to funding issues.

“Construction work on the 350 metre Behsud bridge, which is 40% complete, has been stopped due to payment problems.” Jandarma and Farm Hada bridges are also been 60% complete.   

 “The Behsud and Jandarma bridges could not be completed in time due to the presidential election deadlock. Since there was no money available, construction was stopped.

“However cheques have been given to the companies and I hope the budget issue will be resolved soon and construction will resume.” There have been some other old bridges, but rush created many problems for passersby.

Nangarhar University student Hamidullah Safi said the road remained blocked daily due to crowed and heavy traffic near the police headquarters and Jandarma bridge.

A resident of Kama district, Sharifullah, said: “I am a driver. The narrow Behsud bridge leads to road is blockades for hours on a daily basis.”

Another inhabitant of Khewa district, Noor Rahman, expressed similar concerns and called for the construction of the second bridge adjacent to the old one.


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