Afghan-Tajik-Turkmen Railway Key For Trade, Transit

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Kabul (BNA) Representative from Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan discussed key issues on extension and development of railway and called the project key and vital for easing trade and transit among the three neighbors.
The project, which is expected to be funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and conducted by a Canadian Construction Company could also play key role in strategic, economic and political spheres for the three nations, authorities of the Ministry of Public Works said adding the project would be completed by the end of this year (Afghan calendar, 1993) three months after 2014.
The project, after completed would further ease trade and transit for the three countries they said quoting Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to have promised to build key parts of the project inside the country’s northern Balkh province where the railway is expected to cross from Hairatan, Shirkhan and Aqina ports.
Meanwhile, the Afghan neighbors who are committed to accelerate the project called it a great economic scheme and hoped the work on extension of the railway could be started soon.
Under the agreement of the three countries officials, the work on the project is expected to be extended from Ata Murad area of Turkmenistan and crossing Imam Nazar nearby the Afghan border and Aqina and Andkhoy to northern Kundoz province and from Shirkhan Port to Tajikistan.
But, the authorities said in order to reduce the cost the railway is expected to be extended from Balkh to Tajikistan. Experts also believe the project can play key economic, strategic and political role for the three countries and said some other countries such as China and Kyrgyzstan would take part in the reconstruction process. The railway project if completed would provide full ease in the fields of trade and transit for the three countries and bring a big positive economic change for Afghanistan.
It would establish a corridor of trade and transit in the central Asia and shorten the way of the regional countries to the Indian sea. The people are also fully interested to see the country with railway as a Kabul citizen, Marwah said this was one of her desire to see such a development project conducted in the country, with high economic interests. She said the project if completed would tighten ties between Afghanistan and other central Asian nations. She added, thousands of people would get employment one the great project was kicked off in the country. Among the regional nations, Afghanistan has only 75 km of extended railway, prompting the three countries’ authorities to agree on creation of railway on June last year.

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