A main road in Badakhshan opens for traffic again
The five-kilometer Feyzabad to Dashti Qurogh road was officially reopened for traffic on Thursday.
Following almost two years of rehabilitation and construction work funded by the German government at a cost of AFN 123 million, the road was handed over to the Feyzabad local government.
The newly asphalted road allows safer and faster passage all year round and significantly reduces travel time between Badakhshan’s capital Feyzabad and the Northern districts of Khwahan, Kohestan, Raghistan and Yawan.
It directly benefits 60,000 inhabitants in Feyzabad and up to a further 600,000 citizens in the Northern districts by providing easier access to markets, schools, and hospitals.
“Roads are essential for the development of rural areas. It allows people living in villages to access schools, hospitals and markets. Thanks to the Dashti Qurogh road, the rural population can now use the services offered in Ba-dahkshan’s provincial capital Feyzabad,” said the German Development Commissioner for Badakhshan and Takhar, Dr Frank Pohl.
Badakhshan’s Provincial Deputy Governor, Dr Gul Muhamad Bedar, said: “The local communities are the owners of this road now. We need to make sure that it is well-maintained, so we can benefit from it for a long time.”
Following the completion of the works in summer 2014, the road is now wider and has an improved asphalted surface. To offer more protection for the road against excessive rainfall and flooding, embankments and waterways were reinforced and extended, making the road passable all year round. Retaining walls, flood protection structures, and drainage facilities such as culverts, causeways and side drainages now protect the road from damages caused by extreme weather conditions. Some parts of the rocky terrain were blasted and widened for better passage for vehicles and trucks.
Before the repair works started, the first part of the Feyzabad to Dashti Qurogh Road was eroded and hardly passable to traffic. The second part passes through dangerous hard rock in a narrow passageway with steep slopes and deep ravines, while the remainder of the road was a dirt track that required leveling. The road alignment was in no state to bear the current loads of motor traffic. During winter, some stretches were also impassable due to slippery conditions and flooding from the river and streams nearby.
Based on the development priorities set for Badakhshan, the Provincial Development Committee (PDC) selected this road project to be realized. It comes under the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), an open and flexible program aimed at improving the socioeconomic infrastructure in the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Kunduz, Samangan and Takhar. Another important component is capacity development to improve the provincial government’s ability to plan and implement projects. The PDCs select projects, which are then implemented by the provincial line departments of the Afghan Ministries of Finance, Economy, Energy and Water, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Education, Public Works with the support of the Joint Venture Grontmij-GOPA-INTEGRATION.
The RIDF is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank.
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