KABUL (Pajhwok): Construction of the second part of the Qaisar-Laman road has been included in the next year’s budget plan and the Asian Development Bank has renewed its pledge to finance the project, officials said Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Public Works, the road from Qaisar district in Faryab province to Laman district of Badghis province is 232 kilometers long and is part of the country’s ring road.
The ministry said that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 had pledged to provide $721 million in assistance for construction of the road.
Khalil Rahman Omid, spokesman of the Ministry of Public Works, said that contracts for the first and second parts – 87 kilometers — of the total five parts of the road had been awarded to two foreign companies in September 2018.
Without providing information about 12 years of delay in the project’s completion, he said that the second, fourth and fifth parts of the road – 151 kilometers – were being surveyed and designed.
Omid said the first part of the road, which is 53 kilometers long, was under construction and it had also been included in the 1400 fiscal year’s budget plan. “This part of road is 41 percent completed until last winter, but the work was suspended after complaints from local people”, he added.
Some people had complained to the ADB that their land was used for the road without being acquired, he said.
On October 3, 2020, the ADB in a letter to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Works said that the government had acted in violation of commitments in the project that caused people to displace from their areas.
It had said that people’s problems should have been first responded otherwise the bank would reconsider its funding of the project.
However, the public works ministry spokesman had earlier said, “The problem about land acquisition has been solved and the bank was convinced… Those whose land is acquired would be provided with alternative land or money.”
Omid said ADB had promised to finance the project after the problem of land acquisition was resolved.
Farid Nawakht, deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Finance, said that 2.2 billion afghanis for construction of the second part of Qaisar-Laman road would be paid by ADB and the rest 36 million afghanis by the Afghan government.
He said that the second part of the road was included in the 1400 fiscal year’s budget plan.
Afghanistan fiscal year starts on December 22.
ADB also said that the Ministry of Public Works had confirmed that the problem in the second part of the project had been solved.
The source said the bank as a financial partner in the project would remain committed and would help Afghanistan in its sustainable development.