Lingering construction work at the Kabul – Kandahar highway irks commuters

KABUL (SW) – Lingering slow-paced construction work at the Kabul – Kandahar highway has made it extremely difficult for commuters.

Mohammad Jamshid, a young man who just arrived at Ghazni station after a four-hour journey. One can see the tiredness of the journey from his face and his dusty travel bag. Jamshid says that commuting from Ghazni to Kabul has become very tiring, long and difficult.

He adds that due to the reconstruction work of the Kabul-Kandahar highway, passengers have to travel through dusty alternative routes. Jamshid emphasized: “Coming from Kabul, there are many problems on the way. The roads are dusty, we come from Maidan Shahr on dusty road, the road is very bad. By God, we are in a lot of trouble.”

Aminullah, one of the other passengers on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, told Salam Watandar that if the reconstruction of this road is not completed by winter, it will be difficult and impossible for high-speed vehicles to travel on this road.

He adds: “Our demand from the government is that they have started work for eight or nine months, their work is slow. The weather is getting cold, try to finish it sooner because the travelers of this road are faced with problems.”

When asked, Mohammad Ali and Mustafa, who were trying to attract passengers at the Kabul station located in the “Ali Lala” Chowk of Ghazni city, said that they are forced to commute through the dusty routes that are stretched along the highway. The road is long and dusty. They add that in these routes, car tolls and travel hours have increased, but the passenger fare is at the same rate as before.

Mohammad Ali said: “They have built an emergency road for us from the same side of the road, but there is no water sprinkler, the road is made of clay, it is full of gravel, and it is possible to tear a tire every day. We seriously request the government of the Islamic Emirate to finish the road work by winter, otherwise, it will be very difficult.”

Mustafa said: “Our request is to rebuild this road as soon as possible so that people can be a little bit more comfortable. The reality is that people are in trouble, it is really difficult for us and for the passengers on the road.”

On the other hand, the lengthening of the journey and the breakdown of the road have caused the number of passengers on the Kabul-Ghazni route to decrease compared to the past. The drivers of this route say that the residents of Ghazni avoid commuting on this road as much as possible.

One of the drivers says: “There are fewer passengers because of the road. People do not commute unless they have to. If the road is reconstructed soon, God willing, the people’s business will be better and the number of passengers will increase.”

It should be mentioned that the work of rebuilding the Kabul-Kandahar highway in Maidan Wardak and Ghazni provinces was started at the beginning of this year by the Ministry of Public Works of the caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate.

Officials of the Public Works Department of Ghazni say that 122 km of this highway in Ghazni area has been contracted with two contractor companies, of which only 25 km has been completed so far and both companies are currently engaged in the construction of culverts and preparations.

Mohibullah Abbas, head of public works in Ghazni, told Salam Watandar that these projects from the area of “Qalae-e Aziz” to “Dasht Esfande” have been contracted with one company, and from the area of “Dasht Esfande” to the market of Ghazni’s capital, with a second company.

Mr. Abbas, in response to the slowness of the work of these projects, wants the patience of the people and travelers of this route. He adds that when the weather gets colder, the work of these projects will be stopped and this route will be completely reconstructed next year.

The Kabul-Kandahar highway was asphalted in the early days of the republic. In these two decades, however, the explosion of roadside mines and the traffic of heavy trucks caused many parts of this highway to be destroyed. Now the expectation of the people is that with the completion of the reconstruction of this highway, the traffic of any high-tonnage truck that violates the standards will be prevented.