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Kabul Mayor says road construction a top priority

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21 February 2013 - The Mayor of Kabul City, Mohammad Yunus Nawandish, said yesterday that construction and rehabilitation of road and footpath was the top priority of the Kabul Municipality and during year 1391 (2012-2013) a total of 42.1 kilometres of road and 106,299 square metres of footpath were constructed.

While briefing journalists in Kabul about achievements of the Municipality during last one year, he said that 31.1 kilometres of road was ready for asphalt¬, work on which will commence in the spring.

“We constructed 70.3 kilometres of road, six canals with the length of 2.97 kilometres, 138.2 kilometres of sanitation water channels, 172 small bridges, 2.4 kilometres of protection wall along the river basins and installed 518 square metres of railing along footpath,” said Mr. Nawandish.

He said under the European Union-funded project, 35,328 kilometres of streets were black-topped and 224 shelters were constructed besides development of culverts and small bridges in some parts of Kabul City.

Similarly, he said under Kabul Solidarity Programme (KSP), 29.3 kilometres of streets were concreted in district 11, 12 and 16 of Kabul City in addition to the construction of 46.3 kilometres culverts and 21,219 square metres of footpath.

Mr. Nawandish said that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had recently provided US$ 5 million for KSP programme.

Referring to the Kabul Greenery project, he said, as a result of the Municipality’s “effective programme”, the level of dust particles in the atmosphere of Kabul City had dropped from 250 microgram to 190 microgram.

“We planted over one million saplings during last year’s spring season and cultivated greenery over 35,000 square metres of area in Kabul City,” said Mr. Nawandish.

In addition, he said that 14 parks had been completed in Kabul with installation of necessary equipment for children’s recreation.

Similarly, electric poles that are connected to Light-Emitting Diode (LED) system were installed along 42.5 kilometres road to illuminate the City at night while another 442 solar-powered electric poles were installed, he added.

Mr. Nawandish told the media representatives that the income of the Municipality was over US$ 40 million during 1391 while it received US$ 23.2 million from the Ministry of Finance in development budget.

Referring to future programme, the Kabul Mayor said the World Bank (WB) announced US$ 100 million for Kabul Development Programme (KDP). He said that WB had also promised another US$ 60 million for construction of road in the Afghan capital.

In addition, he said a plan to construct two tunnels is underway. One of the tunnels would be specific to public transportation and the other would be for common traffic, he added. He also mentioned that the WB had agreed to fund for the feasibility study and design of this project. WB has also agreed to fund 20 million dollars for purchase of different machineries for KM, he added.

The Major said 70 per cent of Kabul was unplanned development, which would need decades of consistent work to bring them under proper system of services.

He said that a national campaign of plantation would start on 17 of Hoot (7 March) this year under which over a million saplings and plants would be planted. He called on residents of Kabul to take active part in the plantation campaign.

The Mayor of Kabul said complicated system of procurement, confiscation of lands by powerholders, unplanned constructed and development in Kabul City, lack of canalization, lack of city transport system and increasing number of traffic were among the key challenges the Kabul Municipality faced.

By UNAMA Kabul