New Government Left Unfinished Infrastructure
Socioeconomic Development
Monday, 17 August 2015
Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2015
Written by TOLOnews.com
Unfinished Infrastructure | TOLOnews

The new government will inherit incomplete infrastructural projects such as the extraction of Ainak Copper Mine and Hajigak Iron Mine, establishment of a cross-country ring road, the New Kabul City project, TAPI project, and the construction of Kamal Khan and Salma Water Dams. These projects are considered extremely important for the country's economic prosperity.

The contract for Ainak Copper Mine was signed with the Chinese MCC company in 2005 with an expected investment of $5 billion. The MCC paid $800 million to the Afghan government as a deposit. According to the contract, the company was also responsible to pay a $400 million tax to the Afghan government per annum, establish a power-generating plant capable of producing 400 megawatts of electricity, and construct a railway link from Torkham to Tajikistan.

Nine years after the contract was signed, the work is still in preliminary stages and the MCC has failed to accomplish some of its major responsibilities. The project is now expected to be a priority for the new government.

Additionally, the agreement with Hajigak Iron Mine was signed in 2012 between an Indian consortium and a Canadian company. Both companies had pledged to invest an amount of $ 14 billion on the project. It was decided that the preliminary works on the project be completed within a year, but because of certain issues, practical work never started.

The construction of the Salma Water Dam is also left incomplete. The work on the dam started in 2007 after a 30 year delay, with a $90 million investment on its preliminary stage. The investment increased to $300 million later on. The project still remains incomplete even though it was expected to be finished in 15 months.

Another water diversion facility, Kamal Dam, was expected to provide irrigation to 80,000 hector agricultural land with an investment of $100 million. The dam construction plan provoked serious reactions from Iran. The government failed to resolve the issue so the project was put on hold.

Moreover, the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project remains among the incomplete projects; it's said that some foreign factors as well as security threats in Afghanistan have undermined the implementation of the project.

The pipeline project aimed to transfer more than 26.34 cubic meters of natural gas from Dawlat Abad natural gas zone in Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan and onward to India. An amount of $500 million as well as 500 million cubic meters was expected to be paid to the Afghan government in the first 10 years of the implementation of the project. The number was supposed to increase to one billion cubic meters after the first 10 years and then to 1.5 billion cubic meters after the completion of the second year.

The New Kabul City project, another important national development project, is expected to be completed with an investment amount of $80 billion on 370,000 acres of lands in Deh Sabz district of Kabul province. The project aims to provide shelters to three million people.

The cross-country ring-road is another one of the important infrastructural projects the next government has inherited. Based on the master plan of the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), Afghanistan needs an 18,000 kilometer long ring-road. According to MoPW, 5,000 kilometers of the ring-road was supposed to be finished by 2009, however the target was not achieved.

With all these projects dependent on foreign donations, the pressure is on the new government to meet the expectations about their completion.