Kunduz-Khulm National Highway Construction Process Reaches Milestone
Khulm, Balkh, 12th April 2017 – Today, Afghan government officials, together with their German partners, inaugurated a major part of the Kunduz-Khulm National Highway. The highway now connects the districts Khulm and Dasht-e Khairabad in Balkh province. Currently, its total length amounts to 58.6 km. The local population now benefits from considerably reduced travel times to the provincial capital Mazar-e Sharif. The German government supports the highway’s construction.
During the inauguration ceremony, Mr Baligh, the Minister of Public Works, highlighted: “I express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Germany for their valuable support to initiate this strategic project which helps to improve security, economic growth, and will be reducing traveling time between Kunduz and Balkh Provinces. I hereby request continuation of German Government Development Cooperation for Afghanistan especially for completion of phase 3 and 4 of this project. On behalf of the Afghan MoPW I commit the proper operation and maintenance of the road as the proper O&M of the road will cause the road to be long lasting and enable people to use it for several years.”
The Governor of Balkh Province, Mohammad Atta Noor, explained the project in the context of the northern traffic system and underlined its importance for all Northern Provinces. He expressed his will to support the finalization of the project and agreed that security and absence of corruption for the construction works is essential.
“Handing over this important stretch of the Kunduz – Khulm highway is a crucial step as this road is an essential part of Afghanistan’s infrastructure. It is vital for the efficient transportation of goods and passengers between the country’s Northern provinces and neighbouring states. However we need to be sure, the construction phases ahead can be run in a secure environment with the support and active involvement of the local population. Additional side measures like wells and access roads have been provided already and are part of the concept.” Dr Michael Wimmer, the representative of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the North, added.
Together with Balkh’s Provincial Governor, Mohammad Atta Noor, Dr Wimmer and Mr Baligh cut the ribbon to officially open the highway’s first part for public use. It is now possible to travel significantly faster between Dasht-e Khairabad in Balkh and the provincial capital Mazar-e Sharif. The effect will be enhanced when the 112 km long highway’s last part is completed. Then, passengers and goods from Mazar-e Sharif will no
longer have to travel via Pol-e Khomri to reach Kunduz. The direct connection will cut travel times roughly by half.
The Kunduz-Khulm National Highway’s construction aims at strengthening northern Afghanistan’s economic infrastructure. The German government funds the highway’s construction via KfW. So far, the costs have amounted to more than AFN 3 billion, including supervisory engineering services.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW has supported the Afghan Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) to promote economic infrastructure reconstruction in northern Afghanistan. BMZ via KfW-funded programmes supports the MoPW in building roads, bridges and basic infrastructure. At the same time, the programme provides jobs to the local population. The 112 km long Kunduz-Khulm National Highway’s construction is a priority project.
Released by the PR-Unit of the German Cooperation with Afghanistan.
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