DUSHANBE, August 22, Asia-Plus  -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov today morning left for the Sughd province for a two day working visit, presidential press service reported.

On arrival in the Sughd province President Rahmonov an official commencement of the construction of the Shahriston tunnel. 

The excavation work has already been launched on the northern portal of the tunnel, and builders have excavate 3 meters by August 22.    

            As it had been reported earlier, China’s companies had won tenders to build the Shahriston (Sughd province) and Shar-Shar tunnels (Khatlon province) tunnels in Tajikistan, and Beijing this year offered Tajikistan grants and loans to fund these projects. 

Construction of a 5-kilometer Shahriston tunnel is part of plans to improve road communications between Dushanbe, Khujand and the Uzbek border city of Chanoq.  China’s construction company “China Road” excavates the Shahriston tunnel.  According to preliminary estimates, the Shahriston tunnel project will cost some US$70 million.  The tunnel is supposed to be finished in three years.   

Today, Rahmonov also inaugurated a new school in the Ghonchi district. 

On August 23, Rahmonov will participate in an official opening of a museum constructed within the old city citadel and a stele with national symbols of Tajikistan in Khujand.   

On the same day, he will take part at a meeting of local authorities of Sughd.  The meeting will sum up Sughd’s economic results in January-June 2006 and set tasks for resolving existing problems, according to the source.