International Airport to Open Soon in Mazar: Officials
 
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Northern Balkh province will inaugurate a number of large infrastructure projects in the near future including an international airport, local officials said this week.

The building of an international airport, a railway, and a 400-bed hospital in the provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif are underway alongside a number of infrastructure projects funded mostly with money from international donors, the officials said.

The development of the current provincial airport into an international airport is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the north of Afghanistan with it almost 90 percent complete, deputy governor Muhammad Zahir Wahdat said.

The airport, being overseen by a Turkish company, is being funded with 40 million euros from Germany and 7 million euros from the United Arabic Emirates, he added.

Wahdat said that the projects could not be done without the international donations.

"We want to thank all those who even donate one pen or one notebook, but really we want to thank those who are making the infrastructure and creating sustainable jobs for us because this is the infrastructures which will lead Afghanistan to prosperity," he said.

He also pointed to the importance of the railway to be built in helping transport commercial goods for cheaper rates and improving connections to neighboring Central Asian markets – also a boost to economic prosperity.

"The Asian Development Bank and the Ministry of Public Works must consider three points while they are contracting: speed, quality and at the same time, a cheap price," Wahdat said.

The Asian Development Bank has also shown an interest in funding for the construction of a railway from Naiab Abad- Aqena and a railway from Tajikistan to Mazar-e-Sharif, he added.

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