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Buildings’ safety our top priority, official

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Buildings’ safety our top priority, official
 Afghanistan Ministry of Urban Development and Housing said that safety of buildings was its top priority and the ministry had direct responsibility to allow a standard process for building multistory buildings in the country, particularly in the capital Kabul, where many recklessly built residential blocks had not considered city master plan.
The buildings have no resistance against possible incidents, like earthquake, storms and other unforeseen disasters, Eng. Ajmal Shams, the deputy urban development minister told The Kabul Times.
During an exclusive interview, the deputy minister said that the ministry of urban development and housing directly monitors the construction work of the state run townships and residential units, but the application of the master-plan and the ensuing processes are the responsibility of the municipality.
The deputy minister said: “Safety of both citizens and the residential townships and buildings are our top priority and we consider the life of our citizens.”
He said the ministry of urban development and housing has recently provided the urban development law, which was approved. “This is a good news for the citizens that Afghanistan for the first time owns a construction law.”
According to Shams, the law would help the ministry to completely monitor the work process, control the townships and manage the buildings.
When asked about how many townships have been built in the capital and provinces of the country and which countries have so far contributed to the construction of urban development in Afghanistan, the deputy minister said that in the last 15 years, the donor countries focused on rural reconstruction projects run by the ministry of rural rehabilitation and development in the provinces, as 75 to 80 percent of the country’s population are living in the remote areas and the projects applying companies are mostly concentrating on the ministry of rural rehabilitation.
He said recently the country’s cities are also focused by the world community, but some townships and residential complexes are only built in Kabul, while in the provinces, the private sector have launched many construction projects, but neither the government nor the international community have run any project in the provinces.
Township with up to 10,000 residential units, expected to be built by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would take several years to complete, while another township with the same number funded by Qatar for the martyrs, had been inaugurated, with practical works started, a month ago, said the official.
About the recently built residential blocks, like in Microrayan 4, Khoshal Khan Mina and Khawja Rawash, the deputy minister said that the prices were not tolerable for the citizens with low income.
He hoped his ministry had a presidentially approved plan in 1396 (solar year) to build residential units with long-term installments and affordable for the citizens in the near future.
The deputy minister also called the role of private sector too effective in urban development, not only in the capital, but all allover the country’s provinces.