ADB pledges $12m for highway reconstruction

KABUL (TOLO News): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) pledged $12 million for reconstruction of the country’s northern and western highways, which, according to drivers, have areas that are in bad repair and cause many accidents.

The fund will be spent on “feasibility studies” of the Kabul-Kandahar highway and major roads in the north of Afghanistan – the two key routes for the country’s trade and transit.

“We are looking at specific projects, such as the east-west corridor that connects Kabul with Herat province. We are also looking at the north-south connectivity,” the ADB country director Narendra Singru said. “This will help improve the domestic trade within Afghanistan.”

Drivers on the Kabul-Kandahar highway said some parts of the highway are heavily damaged and have caused many accidents.

The 483 km highway was built during former president Hamid Karzai’s government in 2003 and was reconstructed multiple times.

“It is severely damaged, it needs reconstruction,” said Khan Zaman, a driver.

“Attention should be paid to maintenance of the highway, both from the government and the Taliban,” said Sanaullah, a driver.

According to the drivers, many small bridges along the Kabul-Kandahar highway have been damaged in explosions and floods.