A company from Kazakhstan has won the contract to manage the Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif railway line of Afghanistan.

The contract to manage the Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif railway was signed with a Kazakhstani company called Mansour Fatih, TOLO News reported on December 6.

The company will manage technical issues for the railway.

“We pay this company (more than) $4.1 million annually,” said Bakht Rahman Sharafat, acting head of the Afghanistan railway authority.  “We were paying $15 million to the Sogdiana Trans, and the Sogdiana Trans Company from Uzbekistan was only providing us service for 22 kilometers, only in Hairatan port.  This new company will provide service for 106 kilometers.”

According to TOLO News, Mansour Fatih Company deputy head, Bisn Bai Makhanov, said they would increase the number of employees based on capacity.

"We have earned this contract through bidding," he was cited as saying.

Afghanistan now has four railway lines. The Serhetabad (formerly Kushka)-Torgondi and the Imamnazar-Aqina lines have been built and maintained by Turkmenistan from its own expenses and expertise.

The Hairatan-Aqina-Mazar-e-Sharif line connects Afghanistan with Uzbekistan.

The Khaf-Herat line connects the country with Iran. The construction of this 225-kilometer line was launched in 2007 and reportedly completed in December 2020 but has still not come into operation.  The operation of the Khaf-Herat Railway Project is reportedly facing interruption due to domestic conditions in Afghanistan