Xinhua | KABUL – A Chinese construction firm signed a contract on Sunday to build a key road in central Afghanistan.
Afghan Minister of Public Works Mahmuod Baligh and Vice-Chairman of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) Lu Shan signed the $205 million deal during a ceremony held in Afghan Presidential Palace which was witnessed by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and other high-ranking officials.
“Launching of Dare-e-Sof and Yakawlang Road project by the Chinese firm will definitely increased Afghan economic growth and it is a significant step for connecting Afghan provinces,” Baligh told the ceremony.
The road which goes through more than 37 villages will connect Dare-e-Sof district in northern Samangan province to Yakawlang district of the neighboring central Bamyan province, he said.
The 178-kilometer-road project was the second part of a National North-South Corridor and the first phase of the corridor which connects northern Marzar-i-Sharif city to Yakawlang has already been completed, and the ministry is currently in the process of planning and surveying of the third phase of the corridor, a 550-km road, which connects Bamyan to southern Kandahar province, the minister noted.
“The project will definitely improve the connectivity in the country and the region at large,” Baligh said, adding that the project will further bring facilities for local farmers and it will also help the government to exploit a coal mine which is locating along the project.
The project will take some three and half years to complete in the mountainous region.
The project comprises of building of a seven-meter-road, eight big bridges as well as constructing of 194 small bridges, according to Baligh.
Lu told the ceremony that Afghanistan is a friendly neighbor of China and that China had an important role in reconstruction process of Afghanistan.
The project will be financed by the Asian Development Bank.