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$232m Khost-Paktia road built but governor takes a dig at quality

$232m Khost-Paktia road built but governor takes a dig at quality

Dec 20, 2015 - 21:20

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): The people of southeastern Khost province are happy with the construction of a highway, but officials criticized on some technical failures.

The project was implemented in two phases, with part one executed by the Louis Berger Group/Black & Veatch, a US-based company, the minister of public works said on Sunday.

Part two of the 101 kilometres long and nine metres wide highway was built by an Afghan firm called the Mashriq Construction Company.

Linking the capitals of Paktia and Khost provinces, the road was constructed at cost of $232 million provide by the United States Agency for International Development (USAIDinfo-icon).

The first portion of the project -- 63-km long -- was constructed by the US firm four years ago.The second part -- 38-kg long -- was implemented by the Afghan company.

A taxi driver, Syed Akbar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that socio-economic problems of the people had been resolved with the execution of the project.

“Previously, we would travel the road for seven hours to Kabulinfo-icon, but now one could reach the central capital form Khost in three hours,” he said, adding the maintenance cost of his car had also been reduced.

A passenger, Sher Khan, said that the ill people who would travel on the road and the people of the province who would travel to foreign countries, would faced several problems due to the bad condition of the road.

“The road has finally been paved -- after eight years of weight. In the past, our people would suffer a lot due to the bad condition of the road,” he recalled, thanking the USAID and other donors for resolving their problems.

A member of the provincial council, Qadeem Afghan, hailed the construction of the road as a big achievement for Afghanistaninfo-icon, especially for the people of Khost.

The last phase of the road had a good quality, he believed, asking the officials concerned to pay attention to traffic signs and protective walls along the road.

However, Governor Hukam Khan Habibi said the road was irresponsibly inaugurated in Kabul while there were still some imperfections in the project.

The road had not been completed and there were some quality issues, he explained. The road should have been completed in accordance with the contract, the governor argued.

“The road has low quality, is incomplete and not in line with the plan, design and standards,”Afghan said. If the retaining walls and bridges are not completed to standard, the road is not acceptable to the provincial administration and people.

But an official of the implementing company said all works related to the road project had been completed; only the cleaning work is left which would be also competed in near future.


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