AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $110 million grant 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 northeast of the country.
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 new two-lane highway between Obigarm and Nurobod will help to improve the country’s connectivity and trade competitiveness,” said ADB Transport Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Kamel Bouhmad. “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.”
The construction of the 75-km long highway has been divided into three sections. ADB and the OPEC Fund for International Development will cofinance 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’s first assistance to Tajikistan was in 1998 to support post-conflict reconstruction. Since then, ADB has mobilized over $1.8 billion for the country, including more than $1.2 billion in grants. The assistance has helped improve the country’s transport and energy infrastructure, support social development, expand agricultural production, and strengthen regional cooperation and trade.