DUSHANBE, August 31, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- An official opening of the Shar-Shar Tunnel was held on Sunday 30.

The tunnel is part of the road that runs from Dushanbe through Vahdat to Khatlon’s Danghara district.  Shar-Shar Tunnel was recently completed with the help of China.

We will recall that construction of the Shar-Shar Tunnel, which is a 2,224 meters long tunnel, began in October 2006 and China provided US$36 million for this project.

The tunnel-opening ceremony was attended by President Emomali Rahmon, Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Tajikistan Zue Xueling as well as a number of high-ranking Tajik state officials.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Rahmon noted that the Chinese side had provided funds for the project in a form of grant.  He proposed to name the tunnel the Ozodi (Freedom) Tunnel.

The Tajik leader also called on Tajik entrepreneurs to make donations during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan through purchasing energy saving light bulbs for poor families.  “The Government has purchased some 2 million energy-saving light bulbs for a total amount of 16 million somoni and they will be distributed to the vulnerable families free of charge in the near future,” President Rahmon said.

The same day, rehabilitation of the Dushanbe-Vahdat-Danghara highway officially commenced.  The Dushanbe-Vahdat-Danghara highway rehabilitation project is being implemented due to a 230 million somoni long-term loan provided by the Chinese side.