MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Drivers on the Mazar-i-Sharif-Hairatan highway in northern Balkh province say sometimes the road is closed for hours due to heaps of sand created by strong winds.
Amanullah, a driver on the Mazar-Hairatan highway, told Pajhwok Afghan News they faced many problems on the road, but the biggest problem was stretches of sand covering the road, which cause traffic accidents.
He urged the government to find a temporary or permanent solution to clearing the road from heaps of sand.
Mohammad Hussain, another driver, , said sand covered portions of the road which created problems for people.
Shadab, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, said: “Sometimes fatal traffic accidents take place on this road due to sand brought to the road by strong winds. I want the government to permanently solve this problem by planting trees on the side of the road.”
Barkatullah, manager of a private transport company, expressed similar views and said a large number of small and heavy vehicles ply the road.
He said: “There is a lot of traffic on this road and every week sandstorm chokes the road every week, but no action is taken to shovel the sand off the road.”
On the other hand, officials of the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) acknowledge the problem and assure solution.
MoPW spokesman Mohammad Ashraf Haqshanas told Pajhwok the Mazar-Hairatan highway was an important transit and commercial route.
He said strong winds carried heaps of sand to the road and people had to face problems.
He added the Balkh Public Works Department always cleared the road and on recommendation of the ministry, all provincial administrations will solve the problem using their resources.
The Mazar-i-Sharif-Hairatan highway is about eighty kilometers long and is considered one of the most important trade and transit routes in the country, especially in the north which connects Afghanistan with Uzbekistan.