Deputies of Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament (Majlisi Oli) have endorsed a bill requiring amendments to the country’s law on the national budget for 2019.

A regular sitting of the Majlisi Namoyandagon, presided over by its head, Shukurjon Zuhurov, was held on June 12.     

The amendments, in particular, provide for exempting the construction of three avalanche galleries with a total length of 374 meters along the Dushanbe-Chanak highway from paying income tax, value added tax (VAT), road tax and customs duties.

Meanwhile, speaking at the meeting, MP Saidjaffar Usmonzoda noted that the authorities must stop the practice of exempting companies from paying taxes.

“We must think, first of all, about how to replenish the revenue part of the national budget,” the parliamentarian said.      

The majority of parliamentarians, however, did not support his call and voted for endorsement of the amendments offered by the government to the law on the national budget for 2019.

According to the Ministry of Transport, Pakistan’s Government has provided 5 million U.S. dollars for implementation of the project aimed at construction of the avalanche galleries along the Dushanbe-Chanak highway.  

The China Road and Bridge Corporation will implement the project, which provides for construction of 55 avalanche galleries with a total length of 5,665 meters. 

In all, 51.5 million USD are reportedly needed for implementation of the planned works.  

Today, there are 24 avalanche galleries operating along the Dushanbe-Chanak highway, which connects the central part of Tajikistan and the northern Sughd province.  

The most hazardous place on this highway is the section from the Maikhoura area to the Anzob Tunnel.

A special commission that has been set up to study the issue of constructing additional avalanche galleries along the Dushanbe-Khujand highway has come to a conclusion that it is necessary to build avalanche galleries with a total length of more than 5.6 kilometers on this section of the highway, from the 60th to the 72nd kilometer.      

An avalanche gallery, snow shed or snow bridge is a type of rigid snow-supporting structure for avalanche control (avalanche defense) or to maintain passage in areas where snow removal becomes almost impossible. They can be made of steel, prestressed concrete frames, or timber.  These structures can be fully enclosed, like an artificial tunnel, or consist of lattice-like elements.  They are typically of robust construction considering the environments they must survive in.