The construction of the rail link connecting Dushanbe and Qurghon Teppa will be fully completed in September this year, Usmon Qalandarov, the deputy head of Tajik Railways, informed.
According to him, rehabilitation of the 25-kilmeter Dushanbe-Vahdat section of the railway has been completed and the construction of the 40.7-kilometer Vahdat-Yovon section of the railway is nearing completion.
The railway from Dushanbe to Vahdat was built in the Soviet era and served as the endpoint of the road east of Dushanbe. Vegetables, fruit, and cotton would be shipped for export, and timber, construction supplies, and food would be delivered to Tajikistan.
“The Dushanbe-Yovon section of the railway will be put into operation on August 24 and rehabilitation of the 54-kilometer Yovon-Qurghon Teppa section of the railway will be completed in September this year”, Qalandarov said.
The construction of the Dushanbe-Qurghon Teppa railway began in March 2009, although the project was prepared in the Soviet era. At the time, for unknown reasons, the project was not implemented. After independence, the Tajik government decided to carry out the project and connect the central part of the country with the Khatlon province, which suffers due to the dismantled railway section in Uzbekistan.
The present railway link joining the Tajik capital and Qurghon Teppa, which is 429 kilometers in length, runs across the territory of Uzbekistan and the Uzbek authorities have suspended rail traffic to the Tajik southern Khatlon province.
Construction of the new railway will not only make it possible to shorten the distance, but will also enable to link the neighboring states of China and Kyrgyzstan via Tajikistan with Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.
The project implementation will boost the economies of Tajikistan and neighboring states. (Asia-plus/Business World Magazine)