Iran, Tajikistan promise to complete Independence tunnel

Dushanbe, Nov 29, IRNA — A Tajik official announced that Iran and Tajikistan are determined to complete the strategic Istiqlol (independence) tunnel in the Central Asian country.

“The experts of the Iranian energy ministry are working to estimate the amount of investment needed to complete the strategic Istiqlol tunnel,” Representative of Tajik Transport Minister Habib Dolatov said.

Tajik Transportation Minister Nezam Hakimov underlined the importance of Iran for his country, and said, “Istiqlol tunnel has strategic importance for Tajikistan’s economy.”

Iran has earmarked a total of $39.5 million to complete Istiqlol tunnel.

In April, Iran and Tajikistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to complete the strategic tunnel in the Central Asian country.

The spokesperson for the lower house of Tajikistanˈs parliament Muhammadato Sultanov said earlier this year that the $3bln agreement was signed by the two countries to complete the project.

He added that the Tajik minister of transport, Nizom Hakimov, has briefed the Tajik lawmakers about the project and presented them with the relevant documents.

The Istiqlol tunnel is a five km long tunnel located 80 km Northwest of Tajikistanˈs capital city of Dushanbe.

The tunnel connects the Tajik capital to the countryˈs second largest city, Khujand, travel to which, prior to the tunnelˈs construction, required travelers to cross the border into Uzbekistan in order to travel between the two cities.

It is also a transit route between Dushanbe and Uzbekistanˈs capital Tashkent. Prior to construction of the tunnel, especially during winter, the threat of year-round avalanches led to periodic disruptions of commerce.



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