Phase one and two of the Kunduz-Khulm Highway were officially opened on Wednesday by the minister of public works, Mahmoud Baligh.
The project, funded by the German government, entailed lengthening the highway by 59kms and included 50 small bridges.
Once phases three and four are complete, the highway will considerably shorten the distance between Balkh and Kunduz provinces.
Addressing the inauguration of the road, Baligh, said: “Today’s session is to officially inaugurate the first and second phases of the highway from Khulm district in Balkh to Kunduz province. It is a strategic, vital and national project,” Baligh said.
At the event, Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor said the road would facilitate travel between the two provinces.
“We have always said that we do not want money from companies which are working here and if someone is trying to take money from them they should inform us; otherwise, it would not be acceptable if they paid money to someone and built roads with low quality,” Noor said.
Meanwhile, Michael Weimer, a German official in the northern parts of the country, said at the event that the road is a sign of friendship between Afghanistan and Germany.
“Let me say this very clearly, the Kunduz-Khulm highway is an essential part of Afghanistan’s infrastructure and a key element for the traffic system in the north. It is an overdue alternative for travel between northern provinces and the neighboring states and part of a whole string of road projects implemented with Germany cooperation,” the German official said.
According to the public works minister, the construction of the third phase of the road which encompasses 23 kilometers and the fourth phase which is 17 kilometers will cost 50 million euros.