By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has granted $110 million to Tajikistan to construct 30 kilometers (km) of a highway and 30 km of secondary roads between the towns of Obigarm and Nurobod in the country’s northeast.
ADB Transport Specialist for Central and West Asia Kamel Bouhmad said on December 6 that the construction of the new two-lane highway between Obigarm and Nurobod will help to improve the country’s connectivity and trade competitiveness.
“In addition, all-weather village access roads will be built that will provide isolated local communities with access to jobs, markets, and social services such as education and health,” he noted.
The Obigarm–Nurobod road is part of Corridors 2, 3, and 5 of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program that links landlocked and mountainous Tajikistan to Eurasian and global markets. The road connects the capital Dushanbe to the northeast region of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, and carries around 2,000 vehicles a day.
The construction of the 75-km long highway has been divided into three sections. ADB and the OPEC Fund for International Development will co-finance a 30-km long section from Obigarm to Tagikamar, including two tunnels of a total length of 3.3 km, which is estimated at approximately $178 million. The government has also applied for loan financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the construction of the remaining sections of the 75-km highway.
The new highway will replace the existing road which will cease operation to make way for a hydroelectric dam currently under construction. The highway will be completed before the existing road is decommissioned as the only alternative route would entail a deviation of about 320 km.
The highway will be climate-resilient and built to international road safety standards. The project will also strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Transport on road asset management, and enhance women’s access to economic opportunities through training and improving access to financial resources.
ADB was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world. The Bank is composed of 67 members, 48 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region.
ADB was celebrating 20 years of development partnership with Tajikistan in 2018. To date, ADB has approved around $1.7 billion in grants, concessional loans, and technical assistance to the country. ADB and Tajikistan’s development partnership, which began in 1998, has restored and built the country’s new transport and energy infrastructure, supported social development, expanded agricultural production, and improved regional cooperation and trade.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz