The Government of Afghanistan on 10 November 2013 signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the development of road network in the country at a cost of 220 million US dollar. The agreement was signed between Afghan Finance Minister Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal and the ADB Country Director Joji Tokeshi in Kabul.
Major Highlights of the Agreement
• The agreement envisages reconstruction of 178 kilometer north-south corridor road joining northern Balkh province with the central Bamyan province of Afghanistan. This connectivity will play an important role in joining Afghanistan to the other regional countries.
• The agreement includes reconstruction of the 178km Dara-Suf to Yakawlang highway, preliminary survey of Gardan Diwal to Cheghcharan road and preliminary survey of Kabul’s ring road.
• It is important to note that the northern and southern parts of Afghanistan are linked by the Asian Highway which passes through the Salang Pass situated at an altitude of nearly 12000 foot in the Hindukush Mountains. However, due to the snowfall during winters, the highway gets blocked leading to the obstacle in connecting northern and southern Afghanistan.
• The proposed north-south corridor will provide an alternative route between the two reagions of the country.
• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also facilitated execution of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, which is actually an opportunity for the regional cooperation at an unprecedented scale, linking the four countries economically.
It is worth noticing that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had earlier decided to support Afghanistan and commit to the economic development after the year 2014.