Anzob Tunnel

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The Anzob Tunnel or Ushtur Tunnel is a 5,040 m long tunnel located 80 km northwest of Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe.

The tunnel connects the Tajik capital to the country's second largest city, Khujand, travel to which, prior to the tunnel's construction, required travelers to cross the border into Uzbekistan in order to travel between the two cities. It is also a transit route between Dushanbe and Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent. Prior to construction of the tunnel, especially during winter, the threat of year-round avalanches led to periodic disruptions of commerce.

As of May, 2014 the tunnel was still unfinished and the Iranian government and Tajik government had signed an agreement to complete the project by late March, 2015.[1]

Strategic Importance[edit]

Its construction put an end to Uzbekistan's ability to halt traffic between Tajikistan's two largest cities. It marked the beginning of other major co-operative projects such as the Sangtuda-2 power plant.

The tunnel is also said to be part of a planned road which would run from Iran through Herat in western Afghanistan and Mazar-i-Sharif and Sherkhan Bandar in northern Afghanistan to Tajikistan and from there up to China. The route has been named the new Silk Road.[citation needed]

Construction Timeline[edit]

The tunnel was officially opened in March 2006; it was built by the Iranian Saber International consortium.[2] Due to the significance of the tunnel, limited traffic flow was permitted via signing a waiver form noting potential hazards such as flooding and smog from construction equipment operating inside the tunnel [3] prior to the final construction phase which may have included installation of ventilation and drainage infrastructure. The tunnel is currently filled with water, car exhaust, and broken-down construction equipment. The road surface itself contains potholes large enough to break an axle. A solitary fan in the middle tries to move some air, but the exhaust is so thick you can only see mere feet in front of the vehicle. A breakdown in the tunnel could easily result in serious illness or death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Envoy: Iran to complete Tajikistan’s independence tunnel by next year, May 8, 2014 3:02 pm, http://theiranproject.com/blog/2014/05/08/envoy-iran-to-complete-tajikistans-independence-tunnel-by-next-year/
  2. ^ "Российско-Китайское торгово-экономическое сотрудничество". Crc.mofcom.gov.cn. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  3. ^ "Anzob tunnel - Lonely Planet travel forum". Lonelyplanet.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 

Coordinates: 39°07′44″N 68°51′44″E / 39.12889°N 68.86222°E / 39.12889; 68.86222