Afghanistan: Qaisar-Bala Murghab Road Project

Sovereign Project | 37075-022 Status: Active

The objective of the Project is to assist the Government to promote economic and social development and reduce poverty by rehabilitating the primary road network damaged during three decades of conflict and neglect. The Project will support: (i) rehabilitation of the Qaisar-Bala Murghab section (90 km) of Herat-Andkhoy road; (ii) construction supervision and monitoring; and (iii) incremental project management such as engagement of external auditors to audit project accounts and the payment of additional salary of MPW staff assigned to the Progam Management Office (PMO) and the consultant team.

Project Details

Project Officer
Tawisook, Witoon Central and West Asia Department Request for information
  • Afghanistan
  • Grant
  • Transport
Project Name Qaisar-Bala Murghab Road Project
Project Number 37075-022
Country Afghanistan
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0012-AFG: Qaisar-Bala Murghab Road Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 55.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Transport - Road transport (non-urban)

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description The objective of the Project is to assist the Government to promote economic and social development and reduce poverty by rehabilitating the primary road network damaged during three decades of conflict and neglect. The Project will support: (i) rehabilitation of the Qaisar-Bala Murghab section (90 km) of Herat-Andkhoy road; (ii) construction supervision and monitoring; and (iii) incremental project management such as engagement of external auditors to audit project accounts and the payment of additional salary of MPW staff assigned to the Progam Management Office (PMO) and the consultant team.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Much of Afghanistan's road infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged in more than two decades of conflict. Damaged roads became bottlenecks to the movement of people and goods. Restricted movement has aggravated the division and disintegration of the country, as travel time and vehicle operating cost on roads significantly increased. The result is a virtual loss of efficient means of transport connecting Kabul to regional centers, and regional centers to remote villages. The Qaisar-Bala Murghab road forms part of the Herat-Andkhoy road, which is the last unpaved section of the national ring road. The project area is one of the least developed areas that the ring road traverses. Due to its remoteness and extreme weather in winter and summer, the project area continues to be in need of continued humanitarian aid and assistance in basic social services. Improvement to the road will facilitate provision of such services. The Project is part of coordinated international assistance to improve the road connecting Herat to Andkhoy, which will become a major north-south link across the central mountains, and significantly improve the stability and reliability of the transport system in Afghanistan. The improved road will also change transport in the subregion. Together with international links to the Central Asian Republics, Iran, and Pakistan that are currently being improved, the road will form a major road transport corridor from Central Asia to the warm water ports in the south. Indeed, the road forms part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridors 3 and 6. The resulting outcome will reduce transport costs, and contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in the subregion.
Impact Economic and social development and poverty reduction in the project area.

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome An efficient, safe, reliable road network developed in western Afghanistan.
Progress Toward Outcome

The procurement documents to resume balance of works for Sections 1 & 2 were issued to the direct contractor, ASM JV on 25 May 2016 with deadline of submission on 7 June 2016. Its bid was expected to be submitted end of June 2016 for ADB's evaluation and approval. Task Force meetings on this procurement package were held on 31 July, 2 and 15 August 2016 and ADB was requested for revaluation. ADB responded to either validate the previous evaluation or go for open tendering and government to officially communicate it is position to ADB. IFBs for Section 1 and 2 were advertised on 26 Dec 2016 and the deadline for submission was 8 and 11 Feb 2017. The bid evaluation is ongoing and expected to be submitted to ADB by 5 April 2017.

The remaining design of Sections 1 & 2 will be carried out the by the Engineer. A consulting firm will be recruited to carry out the detailed design of Sections 3-6 while the civil works for these sections will be repackaged and re-tendered.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Improvement of a primary road section from Qaisar to Murghab

2. Strengthened capacity in MPW for road sector management

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The project encountered problems and delays. The achievements will be assessed upon completion of the project.

More capacity strengthening needs to be worked on by MPW PMO staff to successfully implement ADB-assisted road and transport projects. Individual consultants (both under the grant and TA-funded) were mobilized to assist MPW in project implementation.

Geographical Location Qaisar-Bala Murghab

Safeguard Categories

Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects

The Project is category B according to ADB's Environmental Assessment Guidelines (2003). The initial environmental examination (IEE) was prepared as part of the feasibility study for the Herat-Andkhoy road project. The IEE report was approved by MPW on 11 August 2004.

The IEE found that most of the environmental impacts associated with the Project would occur only during the construction period. Therefore, the impacts are temporary and almost all the mitigating measures will be incorporated in the contract document. The contractor will be bound by the agreement to strictly implement the proposed mitigating measures through an Environmental Management Plan (EMP). The IEE states that no further environmental assessment study is required because the environmental impacts are temporary and insignificant. MPW will be responsible for monitoring the contractor's implementation of the EMP. Bi-annual reporst based on MPW's monitoring are being produced and submitted to ADB and other relevant Government agencies, as required.

Involuntary Resettlement Overall, the Project's land acquisition and resettlement impacts are not significant. Most of the improvement works will be carried out within the existing rights-of-way and so agricultural land acquisition will be minimal (0.08 ha). Acquisition of only small amounts of privately owned commercial (0.06 ha) and residential (0.02 ha) land will be required. In total, 130 households (650 affected people) will suffer resettlement impacts as a result of the Project. Four households will be affected by agricultural land acquisition and will lose 1% of their productive assets. None of the 2 residential and 121 commercial structures owned by the titleholders will be displaced and none will require any relocation. Three commercial squatter households whose structures will be totally affected will be relocated or pushed back to the adjacent available government land. The residential structures will lose a very small portion of their homestead land and earthen boundary walls. The commercial structures will lose a very small portion of their commercial land and permanent or temporary extensions or shades of their shops. Land take and impact on commercial areas in towns could be further minimized or completely avoided during detailed engineering design if the design stipulation of 0.5 m verge on each side of the road is compromised in the built-up areas of Gormach and Chilgasi. The affected households will receive cash for land and assets at replacement prices. Compensation will be provided for loss of income for temporary disruption caused during construction, shifting assistance and additional assistance to vulnerable groups. No indigenous people will be affected by the Project. The estimated cost for land acquisition and resettlement is approximately AF2,800,000 ($60,000). A short resettlement plan (Supplementary Appendix C) will be translated into Dari and disclosed to the affected persons. The plan will also be publicly available at MPW, ADB's Afghanistan Resident Mission, and on the ADB web site. The original LARP is being updated as the detailed engineering design work continues.
Indigenous Peoples No indigenous people will be affected by the Project.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The project has identified and consulted with the key primary and secondary project stakeholders in the prominent towns and the project influence area. During the course of social analysis, consultations and meetings with the various project communities including farmers, small shop owners, traders, and local nongovernment organizations were organized to ascertain their response to construction of the road, their needs and demands from the project. Apart from the public meetings, focus group discussions were organized with the young, old, men and women of different occupations and population groups to ensure a comprehensive perspective on the project as well as its impacts. All those consulted unanimously welcomed the benefits that improved access and/or road conditions would provide. (In 2010, the project was repackaged with 0081-AFG Bala Murghab - Lamen (143 km), and supplied with additional financing from G0244-AFG).
During Project Implementation The local communities will be engaged through a dedicated community development component.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services A consultant team has been hired to help MPW implement the Project. They will (i) oversee overall project management; (ii) assist with the procurement of civil works; (iii) supervise construction and installation of equipment, including reviewing detailed designs prepared by contractors; (iv) certify completed works by force account as well as by contractors; (v) provide on-the-job trainings for MPW staff assigned to the consultant team; implementing and supervising the training component of the project; and (vi) undertake benefit monitoring and evaluation. International consultants associated with domestic ones have been engaged through quality- and cost-based selection method in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants.
Procurement Procurement of goods, services, and civil works financed under the ADB loan are carried out in accordance with ADB's Guidelines for Procurement. Due to the emergency nature of project implementation, the Government requested flexible application of such guidelines, including shorter bidding period of 60 days for the procurement of civil works under international competitive bidding. Civil works contracts will be procured through international competitive bidding (ICB). A single-stage two-envelope procedure with no separate prequalification, which has been used in the three preceding ADB-financed road projects in Afghanistan and has proven to be effective in reducing time required for procurement, will be used. Equipment will be procured by ICB for contracts with an estimated value of more than $1,000,000, international shopping for contracts estimated at $100,000-1,000,000, and direct purchase arrangement for contracts valued at less than $100,000. All international procurements will be undertaken by the Government Procurement Unit operating under ARDS.

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Tawisook, Witoon
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Afghanistan Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Public Works
Dr. Wali Mohammad Rasooli
Fist Macrorayan, Kabul Afghanistan


Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding 21 Mar 2005 to 02 Apr 2005
MRM 28 Apr 2005
Approval 12 Jul 2005
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 03 Dec 2009
Last PDS Update 29 Mar 2017

Grant 0012-AFG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Jul 2005 12 Oct 2005 16 Mar 2006 31 Dec 2008 31 Dec 2020 -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 55.30 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 55.00 12 Jul 2005 54.82 0.00 100%
Counterpart 0.30 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 12 Jul 2005 50.16 0.00 91%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory - - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

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Title Document Type Document Date
Qaisar-Bala Murghab Road Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Sep 2015
Qaisar-Bala Murghab Road Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Jul 2005

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

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