Uzbekistan decides to allow stranded freight cars to move into Tajikistan
July 21, 2010 - Payrav Chorshanbiyev
Uzbek rail authorities have notified their Tajik counterparts that all stranded Tajikistan-bound freight cars will be allowed to move into Tajikistan starting July 21.
Tajik Railways head Amonullo Hukumatullo remarked this at a news conference in Dushanbe on July 21. According to him, Uzbek rail authorities say all technical shortcomings delaying the passage of freight cars have been removed.
We will recall that Tajikistan accused Uzbekistan of deliberately delaying the passage of freight cars loaded with fuel, building materials, and other goods bound for Tajikistan, while Uzbek rail authorities rejected that accusation, saying the delays were “technical.”
Tajik rail officials say 1,157 freight cars loaded with cargos bound for Tajikistan are still being held up on Uzbek territory.
According to the preliminary estimates, damage caused by the rail delays to Tajikistan’s economy has been estimated at some 10 million U.S. dollars.
Uzbekistan began the rail blockade of wagons bound for Tajikistan briefly last fall. It resumed the blockade early this year. Uzbekistan's halting of freight cars bound for Tajikistan has affected implementation of some projects in the country, including the construction of the Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power plant that has been built with help of Iranian specialists.