DUSHANBE, March 6, Asia-Plus -- On Saturday February 4, a group of visiting Chinese specialists and senior representatives from Tajik Ministry of Transport (MoT) visited a site for the construction of the Shar-Shar tunnel in southern Tajikistan.  

As it had been reported earlier, the Chinese delegation arrived in Dushanbe to discuss issues on Thursday March 2.  Next day, Chinese specialists met in Dushanbe with Tajik Minister of Transport Abdurrahim Ashurov.  According to the MoT source, their talks focused on preparatory works for the construction of the Shar-Shar tunnel in southern Tajikistan.  During the meeting Chinese specialists touched upon the issue of supply of machines for this purpose and numbers of Chinese and Tajik specialists to be involved in the project.  Participants at the meeting also considered the possibility of the beginning of the construction of the tunnel already in April this year.  

The project for the construction of this tunnel has already been submitted for examination to the Committee for Construction and Architecture.   After the project is endorsed the date of the beginning of the construction will be fixed and the Chinese side will announce a tender among its construction companies for the construction of the tunnel.  

 The Shar-Shar tunnel, which will be some 2.2 kilometers in length, will link the Tajik capital to Kulob via Norak.  The estimated budget for the implementation of this project is US$38 million and China intends to provide some US$30 million to Tajikistan to construct this tunnel.    

The project is supposed to be finished in 38 months.