The Government of Tajikistan has instructed to send the Letters of Exchange on the Project for Rehabilitation of the Qalai Khumb-Vanj-Rushan Administrative Border Section of the Dushanbe-Khorog-Kulma-China Highway for ratification to the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament). 

This 95-kilometer section is considered one of the most difficult sections of the Dushanbe-Khorog-Kulma-China highway. 

Government’s decree posted on the legal information portal of the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan says the Letters of exchange were signed on May 21, 2021.  

As for the road infrastructure in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), hope there reportedly rests on China.  Dushanbe is waiting for a large chunk of cash from Beijing for the overhaul of the road from Qalai Khumb, administrative center of GBAO’s Darvoz district to Vanj, administrative center of GBAO’s Vanj district.

Reported estimates of how much Beijing might gift Tajikistan to this end vary from 186 million USD to 226 million USD.  And it is not yet known what China will expect in return.

Recall, during his working visit to GBAO in August last year, President Emomali Rahmon on August 20 last year met with residents of Vanj district.  During the meeting, Rahmon noted that work on rehabilitation of the Qalai Khumb-Vanj road, which is one of the key sections of the highway connecting Dushanbe and Kulma Pass on the border between the GBAO and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, will begin before the end of the year.  The president reportedly said that the coronavirus pandemic had pushed back the signing of the document on rehabilitation of that section of the Dushanbe-Khorog-Kulma highway. 

Rahmon noted at the time that the Qalai Khumb-Vanj road was 96 kilometers in length and 2 billion somonis would be spent for rehabilitation of that road.  According to him, the Qalai Khumb-Vanj road rehabilitation project includes construction of 15 bridges and two tunnels.  The project is expected to be complete in three years.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport noted in October 2019 that the project aimed at rehabilitating this section of the Dushanbe-Khorog-Kulma highway provides for construction of two tunnels with a total length of 5.2 kilometer, several galleries with a total length of 490 meters, 15 bridges with a total length of 634 meters and some other facilities.  

The then Frist Deputy Minister of Transport, Suhrob Mirzozoda, had earlier told Asia-Plus that Beijing will award a grant of 1.307 billion Yuan (equivalent to 186 million U.S. dollars) for rehabilitation of the Qalai Khumb-Vanj section of the Dushanbe-Khorog-Kulma highway.