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Tajikistan Begins Construction of New City in Khujand Area

Wednesday 25 March 2015

DUSHANBE (RFE/RL) – Tajikistan has begun the construction of a brand new city in a desert area in the country’s north to provide housing and jobs for local residents. President Emomali Rahmon took part in a ceremony on March 24 to lay the cornerstone of what he said would be a modern city for some 250,000 people.

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View of Syr Darya River at Khujand

Seyhun (سیحون), the Arabic name of Syr Dary River (سيردريا), is to be built on a 14,000-hectare desert land some ten kilometers north of Khujand (former Leninabad), the country’s second city, in the Sughd Province. The president’s website said the new city will have 19 residential areas, some 50 schools, 40 sports centres, and numerous shopping centres and bazaars. A total of 7,000 hectares of the desert will be turned into orchards, the website said.

It did not give an estimated cost for the project but it said it would be financed from the state budget, while Rahmon urged private business leaders to help.

In Central Asia today urbanization is slowing, but the challenges of managing cities and towns remain. Many countries have been transitioning to market economies for the past 25 years. Many need to meet persistent challenges of decaying and outmoded urban infrastructure, deteriorated communal housing, urban blight, and urban poverty.

Immediately after the transition to a market economy, housing policy reforms and land registration were top priorities in the region’s cities. Today, land registration programs and cadastres have matured, but ensuring maintenance and communal services for multifamily housing and promoting robust rental housing markets remain a priority for many cities.

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