The Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani has said Chinese copper mining concessionaire MCC should award contracts for surveying railway lines from Kabul to Torkham (on the Khyber Pass border with Pakistan), and from Kabul to Kabul to Ghorband, Bamiyan and Naibabad (for Mazar-i-Sharif and Hayratan).
I think “China Railway(s) Company” is China Railway Group, who undertook work on the Kabul – Jalalabad road.1 However there are a number of Chinese organisations with similar names which can be hard to untangle.
Technical research for Kabul-Mazir and Kabul-Torkham railways begins soon
According to Aynak Copper Project contract, MCC are required to extend the railways sub projects for transportation of copper. Accordingly a meeting took place between the relevant organizations at the Ministry of Mines to discuss the coordination and regular implementation, and, identifying routes for the railway tracks.
The Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said at the meeting that the preliminary track – from Kabul to Torkham and from Kabul to Mazarisharif via Ghorband, Bamyan and Naybabad to Hairatan – of the railway was determined last year. Now it is necessary for MCC to sign a contract with a company for technical survey though a bidding process.
“The China Railway Company which is familiar with the territory of Afghanistan and have experience in constructing the Polikhomri-Shikhanbander and Kabul-Jalalabad roads, has been identified as being the winning company of the tender, and will begin the technical research for Kabul-Mazar and Kabul-Torkham railways” Said Mr. Shahrani
Mr. Shahrani believed that the creation of railways in Afghanistan is a complex undertaking and therefore there is need for an independent railways organization inside the government.
He stressed that the creations of most of railways are related to mining projects therefore for the time being all of railways projects will be related to the Ministry of Mines.
“These railways will not be limited to transportation of minerals, but will be used in different sectors like trading goods etc.” He said.
The exact expenditures of the project will be estimated after the technical research implemented by the China Railways Company.
Source: Ministry of Mines, dated 2011-10-17, published 2011-10-18