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18 months on, Paktians await work on Gardez-Zurmat road



18 months on, Paktians await work on Gardez-Zurmat road

Aug 25, 2019 - 17:30

GARDIZ (Pajhwok): Inaugurated one and a half years ago, construction work on the Gardez-Zurmat road in southeastern Paktia province is yet to be launched, complain local residents.

On April 1, 2018, President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the Gardez-Zurmat road construction project and had said the road would be built in three phases in 17 months.

However, local residents say practical on the road is yet to be launched. Rohullah, a resident of Zurmat district, criticized the government and said no attention was paid to the development of the district during the past 18 years.

He said the Gardez-Zurmat road if constructed would help local people improve their economy.

“The government did nothing during the past 18 years to improve the healthinfo-icon, educationinfo-icon, reconstructioninfo-icon and security sectors the province, the Gardez-Zurmat road is a good example,” he said.

Asadullah Akbarzai, another resident, said the government had failed to ensure people’s security, calling for uniform services in districts and other areas of the country.

“The situation shows no one has the intention to build this road, we ask the governor and the central government to pay serious attention to the road construction,” he said.

A civil societyinfo-icon activist, Fazal Zarmalwa,l said the government had ignored the Gardez-Zurmat road and no officials had so far taken any action in this regard.

He said people were in trouble due to the road’s bad condition and many patients lost their lives while being transferred to hospital on the route.

“Some officials say the road is under construction, but the reality is that no work is underway on the road,” he said.

On the other hand, Paktia governor Shamim Khan Katawazai acknowledged the Gardez-Zurmat road construction had been delayed.

However, he said that the reason behind the delay in road construction was the absence of the previously contracted company and Talibaninfo-icon’s attacks on the construction process awarded to another company.

“The company has promised to start heavy work on the road construction after the Independence Day, we have tightened security of the road and I am sure work on the road would accelerate,” he said.

On the other hand, local Taliban militants said they had stopped construction of the road as per orders from their leaders.

The road is 30 kilometers long and connects Zurmat district with Gardez, the provincial capital and other parts of Ghazni province.



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