Power, cement shortages hinder construction of two major Tajik tunnels

Power, cement shortages hinder construction of two major Tajik tunnels
Published: 04 June 2007

The lack of cement and electricity is hindering the construction of the Istiqlol and Shahriston tunnels in Tajikistan, which are being built by Iranian and Chinese companies, respectively, a Tajik journalist Maruf Boborajab said in his article published by the Tojikiston newspaper.  
 
The journalist quoted an Iranian manager identified as Ahmad Shorehi as saying that supply of cement was the main problem at the construction of the Istiqlol tunnel. "Construction workers are able to use and need 650tpd of cement a day, but today only 150t of cement are being used for reinforcement work," he was quoted as saying.  
 
Ahmad Shorehi also expressed concern that the leadership of the cement plant intended to charge a higher price for their product than that stipulated by an agreement reached in 2003. "This action will force the construction workers to change the cost of concrete work," the Iranian manager said.  
 
When asked about the shortage of cement in the country, first deputy minister of transport and communications Jumakhon Zuhurov told the newspaper that the construction "has never stopped because of the shortage of the product". "We bought 5,000t of cement from Uzbekistan to overcome the difficulties, and intend to buy another 2000t," he said.  
 
Turning to the progress with the construction of the Shahriston tunnel, the journalist said that the lack of electricity was causing difficulties to a Chinese company building the tunnel. He quoted a company official as saying that the supply of electricity to the Shahriston tunnel should have been ensured by the Tajik authorities. Chinese specialists have been using portable generators in their work for nine months now, the Chinese company official was quoted as saying.