NewsoftheWorld.co.uk, February 1, 2010
4-mile road costs £70m: Simple road in Afghanistan costs more than F1 race track
A new report says some of the money was taken in backhanders by Afghan government officials.
A SIMPLE road being built in Afghanistan by the British government has cost more than a modern Formula One race track because of rampant corruption among locals.
The spiralling bill for the four-mile stretch is set to top £70MILLION, up from £4.5million. A top motor racing circuit in Istanbul, Turkey, was completed five years ago for £65million.
A new report says some of the money was taken in backhanders by Afghan government officials. The rest paid dodgy contractors several times over and went to workers who never appeared on the job.
Corruption is rife in Afghanistan. Last year £1.5billion, a quarter of the country's earnings, was paid out in bribes. Now the British government is to fund a scheme to train a new corruption-free Afghan civil service.
The road, linking Lashkar Gah in lawless Helmand province to Bhost airfield, is to help farmers and manufacturers safely fly out their goods from southern Afghanistan. The airfield and road have both been a target for Taliban attacks.
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