District governor of Zenda Jan district of western Herat province on Sunday said 85 development projects have been started in the district, but 11 of the projects have come to a standstill due to Taliban activity in the area.
He said the Taliban is trying to levy taxes on the contracting companies.
“Taliban has asked the Development Council to give them 30 percent of each project's funding but the council has rejected the demand and now the Taliban are preventing the projects from being implemented,” said Ahmad Farid Ziaratjaie, governor of Zenda Jan district.
According to Ziaratjaie, the lack of security forces in the district has paved the way for the Taliban to operate in parts of the district.
“We face a lack of security forces and we cannot maintain security of the projects. We have discussed the issue with the Herat governor,” he added.
Meanwhile, the governor of Adraskan district said the Taliban has moved two of its bases from Shindand district to Adraskan and have built a prison in which they are holding some civilians.
“Taliban has a few bases in parts of the district and they manage their terrorist activities from these bases. Five groups of Taliban are busy with destructive activities in this district,” said Lal Mohammad Omarzai, Adraskan governor.
Jilani Farhad, spokesman for the Herat governor, said more security forces will be deployed in some districts of the province.
“We have launched a few operations in Adraskan and have eliminated the Taliban, but due to the lack of permanent bases, Taliban have restarted their activities. Unfortunately Herat is faced with a lack of security forces,” he said.
The spokesman for the Herat police department said they have plans to launch an offensive against insurgents in spring.
“Security forces have plans to launch a large scale operation in all parts of Herat province in the next solar year to eliminate all bases of Taliban from the region,” Abdul Ahad Walizada, Herat police spokesman said.
It has been said however that the Taliban are active in eight districts of Herat province and that their presence is an obstacle in the way of implementing development projects.