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Railways freight transport up 25%: officials

The volume of commercial goods transported by rail has increased by 25 per cent in the first quarter of this solar year, the Afghanistan Railway Authority said on Saturday.

The head of the Afghanistan Railway Authority, Bakhtur Rahman Sharafat, revealed that 4.5 million metric tons of cargo were transported through the country’s rails in the past year and that ARA made 3.1 billion Afghanis in revenue.

“In transit, compared to previous years. We had a 25 per cent surge in the first quarter. This means that we have a 25 per cent increase in revenue in the transit between Afghanistan and regional countries through the Hairatan, Aqeena, Toghondi and Rozanak railways,” Sharafat said.

He claims that the first phase of the 43-kilometre-long fourth section of the Herat-Khaf railway line will begin soon and be completed within 16 months.

Additionally, he brought up the trans-Afghanistan railway project, noting that it will link Central Asia and South Asia as well as Eastern Europe and South Asia, and its work has accelerated.

“Following the recent meeting of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, a joint office was opened for the one-year plan, whose responsibility is to complete the survey, prepare for the start of practical work, and find financial resources to fund this project,” said.

According to officials, work on the Sheberghan-Andkhoy and Spin Boldak-Chaman railways will begin this year.

“We are starting these projects, and most of the preparations have been taken. The land acquisition process is almost complete, and in the current year, we will regularize the monitoring and maintenance of the railway line in the country,” Abdulbari Sediqi, the financial and administrative deputy of the Afghanistan Railway Authority, stated.

ARA officials say Afghanistan can only resolve its railway problem once it purchases wagons. Hence ARA is looking to purchase wagons that will hasten the shipping process.