On Monday June 7, President Emomali Rahmon held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Obigarm-Nourobod road being constructed with the support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ADB in late 2019 approved a $110 million grant to Tajikistan to construct about 30 kilometers (km) of the highway and 30 km of secondary roads between the towns of Obigarm and Nourobod.

The Obigarm-Nourobod road is part of Corridors 2, 3 and 5 of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program that links landlocked and mountainous Tajikistan to Eurasian and global markets.

The road connects the Tajik capital Dushanbe to the northeast region of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and carries over 2000 vehicles a day.

The construction of the 75-kilometer long highway has been divided into three sections.  ADB and the OPEC Fund for International Development cofinance the section from Obigarm to Tagikamar, including two tunnels.  The Government has also got loan financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the construction of the contiguous 44-km section, including one tunnel, while the remaining section is expected to be financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The new highway will replace the existing road which will cease operation to make way for a hydroelectric dam currently under construction.  The highway will be completed before the existing road is decommissioned as the only alternative route would entail a deviation of about 320 km.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998. Since then, ADB has become Tajikistan’s largest multilateral development partner, supporting a range of sectors from strategic road and energy infrastructure to food security and social services with about $2.2 billion in assistance, including over $1.6 billion in grants.

Established in 1966, the Asian Development Bank is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Recall, Mr. Azim Ibrohim, Minister of Transport of Tajikistan and Mr. Fei Lyu, Manager - Authorized Representative at China’s Hunan Road & Bridge Construction Group Co., Ltd, on April 12 signed here an agreement on implementation of the project aiming at constructing of a section of a road connecting the towns of Obigarm and Nourobod.

According to the Transport Ministry press center, the Chinese company will construct a 30.2-kilometer section from Obigarm to Tagikamar and two tunnels with a total length of 1.2 kilometers.  The company will also construct five bridges and rehabilitate one bridge with a total length of 1.7 kilometers. 

The highway will be climate-resilient and built to international road safety standards.  The project will also strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Transport on road asset management, and enhance women’s access to economic opportunities through training and improving access to financial resources.