Kulma-Karasu-Kashgar highway temporarily closed for traffic due to floods in China


August 17, 2010, Shonavruz Afzalshoyev


Traffic via the Kulma crossing on the Tajik-Chinese border in the Murgab district, Gorno Badakhshan has been temporarily suspended.

Khursand Vafobekov, the head of the GBAO directorate for investments and state-owned property directorate, told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon that authorities of China’s Kashgar region say recent floods and mudflows damaged in several parts the Kulma-Karasu-Kashgar highway that makes traffic along the highway dangerous. “In their letter, the Kashgar authorities noted that rehabilitation of the highway will take at least two weeks,” Vafobekov said.

According to him, an official delegation of Gorno Badakhshan was supposed to travel to Kashgar at the end of last week to attend the first international festival of tourist organizations, Silk Road – the Pearl of East, that opened there today.

We will recall that since May 1, 2008, the Kulma crossing has worked every day, except weekends, from May though November.

The Tajik-China trade route, opened in 2004, runs from Khorog, the capital of Gorno Badakhshan in southeastern Tajikistan, over a high-altitude plateau and then down into China, where it ends in the city of Kashgar, 700 kilometers away.

As conditions are so tough at the Kulma border crossing, which is located on a mountain pass 4,400 meters high, until May 1 2008, the gateway had stayed open only 15 days out of every month, while from November through April it had been closed altogether.