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New Afghan laws to regulate all construction and engineering work

Text of report in English by Afghan independent Pajhwok news agency website

BBCM

Kabul: Under an agreement signed on Wednesday [7 July], Afghanistan will enact laws governing all construction activities in the war-torn country.

The accord was signed between the Afghanistan National Standardization Authority (ANSA) and the Harakat Organization in Kabul. Four laws would be made to regulate engineering, construction, highway, bridges and urban development sectors, said the ANSA chief executive officer, Popalzai Popal.

He revealed the project would cost 2.1 million afghanis. Members of government institutions, the private sector, academic institutions and international experts would jointly draft the proposed laws.

The codes would help reduce financial and bodily damage to workers and ordinary people, Popal said, adding the Ministry of Urban Development had devised a plan for 70 townships to be constructed across the country. "The project would be completed in two years and four months," said the head of the Harakat Organisation. He bel! ieved the implementation of the project would attract investment from donor countries and thus would prove lucrative to Afghanistan.

Harakat is an independent private sector organization which has been active in the country for the past two years. It aims to sort out problems faced by traders. Some businessmen see the move as useful in terms of preventing financial and bodily harm suffered during construction activities. The head of the Afghanistan Construction Companies Association (ACCA), Naeem Yasin, said presently there were

no clear rules governing construction activities.

According to Popal, observance of the codes will be mandatory once the cabinet approves them. A large amount of international aid to Afghanistan has been spent on construction activities. Currently, there are 3,500 authorized construction companies operating in the country.

 

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