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Wary Andhra, Telangana construction firms left Afghanistan early

As the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the other sector that seems to have been affected is the import of dry fruits like Anjeer from the country.

Published: 16th August 2021 08:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2021 08:11 AM   |  A+A-

An Afghan policeman stands guard on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan

An Afghan policeman stands guard on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. (File photo| AP)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Construction companies from India, especially those from the two Telugu States, saw the writing on the wall much ahead of others and pulled out of Afghanistan as the first signs of the crisis emerged.

In fact, Covid-19 set the stage for their pullout. As the infection began spreading, several of them returned to India. As the twin challenges stared them in the face, they decided to give a go-by to fresh construction contracts.

Bollineni Krishnaiah, chairman of construction firm BSCPL, whose company has executed several construction works for Afghanistan Parliament and also the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan after it was bombed in 2008, says that after handing over the Parliament building, their company did not take up any other projects.

“Firstly, it was due to the already-existing crisis. Also, two of our workers from Andhra Pradesh were kidnapped from the worksite. They were, however, released later after much struggle,” he says. Gradually, many Indian players operating in Afghanistan started withdrawing, and there aren’t many such firms, particularly those owned by people from Telugu states, operating there now, he adds.

The situation is also having an impact on migration. Bheem Reddy Mandha, president of Emigrants Welfare Forum, says earlier Afghanistan was an important destination for migrants from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.  

“But it is more than a year since there has been a significant number of departures for Afghanistan due to Covid-19 situation. On the whole, there could be around 1,500 Indians in Afghanistan,” he adds.

Dry fruits business hit
As the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the other sector that seems to have been affected is the import of dry fruits like Anjeer from the country. As a result, its price has shot up by 30 per cent. The prices of other dry fruits supplied from Afghanistan, including Qurbani and Black Kismis, has also risen.



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