The Union of Construction Companies claims that some decisions by the High Economic Council—led by President Ashraf Ghani—remain unimplemented, limiting private companies’ access to government projects and pushing them towards collapse.
According to the union, one of these companies is the Tadbir Cobblestone Company in Chahar Asiab area on the outskirts of the city of Kabul that was established with an initial investment of $1 million, but its operations are stopped as it has not been awarded a project despite a decision by the High Economic Council two years ago.
Over 200 workers have been left unemployed as the company has halted its operations, the union officials said.
“The decisions are not implemented properly as they should be. No broad-based assessment is carried out. This adds to the problems faced by construction firms,” said Bashir Atashban, head of the Union of Construction Companies.
“If someone has any complaint, he can submit it to the Administrative Office of the President,” said Dawa Khan Menapal, a presidential spokesman.
Documents provided by officials of Tadbir Cobblestone Company show that the High Economic Council in its 14th session three years ago approved in principle projects for pavement of subways, historical sites and sidewalks and directed the Kabul Municipality and the Urban Development Ministry to design required plans for the projects and hand it to Tadbir Cobblestone for implementation. But officials of the company said they haven’t received any project from any government institutions so far.
The company officials said they have implemented a pavement project in Kart-e-Se area in the west of Kabul two years ago.
“If our work had continued, we would have been able to pay five to six million Afghanis to the government annually,” said Mohammad Shekib, owner, Tadbir Cobblestone Company.
“The project is suspended for the last three years due to lack of budget and lack of required facilities,” said Mohammad Zaheer, the deputy head of Tadbir Cobblestone Company.
A pavement project encompassing 3,000 square meters of area in Darulaman Palace has been implemented by Operation and Support Office of the President for National Development (OSOPND) with the help of some companies. But the project has not been implemented with required quality, according to experts.
However, Fahim Safi, the head of Darulaman Palace project, defended his work, saying that the “tried our best to do the pavement like its original.”
According to Kabul Municipality, projects for pavement of 15 kilometers of roads are under procurement process following recent decisions by the High Economic Council.
The municipality’s spokesperson Samira Rasa said 31 kilometers of roads have been identified for pavement projects.
“The remaining seven kilometers will be under procurement process in the near future,” Rasa said.
Based on the statistics, each kilometer of pavement with seven meters wide costs more than 19 million Afghanis while the cost of 1 kilometer of asphalted road is estimated 17 million Afghanis.