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Tajikistan to complete construction of major tunnel in 2015

DUSHANBE, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- The construction of a major tunnel on the highway linking Tajikistan's capital and second largest city is expected to be completed in 2015, the Tajik Transport Ministry said Monday.

Necessary works like cementation and installation of ventilation equipment are still going on inside the Istiqlol Tunnel, after specialists from the ministry detected an error while analyzing the 40-million-U.S.-dollar project in July.

The 5-km tunnel, located 80 km northwest of Dushanbe and built with assistance from Iran, is also a transit route between Dushanbe and the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

After its completion, the Dushanbe-Khujand highway will open for traffic the whole year round and the transit time is expected to be cut by four to five hours.

Previously, particularly during cold seasons, the lack of a direct link between northern and southern Tajikistan often led to disruptions of commercial activities in the region.

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