Major investors in Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project named
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 4 / Trend, V. Zhavoronkova /
The main investors in the project for construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway will be Ashgabat and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Deputy Minister of Public Works of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Wahid told Trend on Thursday.
The parties signed a memorandum following the talks between Presidents Hamid Karzai, Emomali Rahmon and Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat in late March.
Turkmen President expressed the view that the initiative of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway is an important and timely step in comprehensive strengthening of international cooperation.
According to Ahmad Shah Wahid, the railway section passing through Turkmenistan will be funded by the Government of the country. The Afghan and Tajik sections are likely to be financed by the ADB.
The bank plans to allocate $350 million to Afghanistan, he said.
According to Wahid, the Afghan section of the feasibility study is also completed, and after its approval by the government, the implementation of the project will start. Turkmenistan has already started construction of its section of the railway, Wahid said.
Tajikistan, in turn has appealed to the ADB with a request for funding for the project, and is likely to receive funds due to the difficult economic situation of the country, he said.
The exact cost of the project and the amount of the allocated funds will be determined after the completion of the feasibility study (FS), he said.
The length of the Afghan section of the road is 60 kilometers along with supporting areas, 36 kilometers of which is the length of the main line, he said.
Wahid said merging the railroad to a larger regional rail system is planned in the future. This will not only allow linking of the region's countries, but will also provide access to more distant countries, such as China and Iran.
Afghanistan will start construction of the railway in four months, he said.
He noted that in the next 1-1.5 months, Turkmenistan will host a meeting of experts of the three countries on the possibility of parallel implementation of the project.
"The governments of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan have shown great interest in this project," Wahid said.
He did not exclude the possibility of accession of other countries to financing of this project, such as Iran.