Uzbek state-owned company Uzbekistan Temir Yullari has completed the construction of a 123-kilometre-long Angren-Pap railway line, news agency Novosti Uzbekistana reported on February 25.
Uzbekistan’s freight trains used a railway line going through the territory of Tajikistan’s Sughd Region in order to transport cargo between central Uzbekistan and eastern regions of the country in the Fergana Valley - the Angren-Pap railway line will allow the country to bypass the Tajik territory completely. Tajikistan received $25mn annually from the transit of Uzbek cargo through Sughd Region, according to Asia-Plus news agency.
The relations between the two countries deteriorated significantly after Dushanbe decided to go ahead with building what will be the world's tallest dam - Rogun. Uzbekistan opposes the construction of the Rogun hydropower plant as it fears it will starve its cotton fields of water. Tajikistan argues it needs the dam to increase electricity generation to compensate for the suspension of gas supplies from Uzbekistan. As a result, Tashkent has effectively imposed a transport blockade on Tajikistan preventing construction materials from reaching the site. In response, Tajikistan is building a railway line to Turkmenistan via Afghanistan, bypassing Uzbekistan.
The costs of construction of the new line amounted to $1.68bn, according to the report.
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