Construction work on first 57,000 housing units as part of the multibillion New Kabul City project would start in April, an official said on Sunday, adding contracts to the effect had been signed with five construction firms.
The New Kabul City, a public-private venture, has been planned to span across 290 square miles north of Kabul at the foothills of the Safi Mountains, bigger than the existing Kabul.
Housing three million people, the new city is said to be include homes, apartments, shops, mosques, a library, a fire station, areas for farming and light industry and even picturesque parks.
Elham Omar Hotaki, who works with the government authority developing the project, said contracts worth $6.5 billion were signed in March last year with five private companies having American, Arab, Australian and German partners to construct the first 57,000 housing units.
The houses would have electricity, roads, telecommunication services, commercial sites and other facilitates to be built over the next five to eight years, he said.
Gholam Sakhi Hassanzadah, deputy chairman of the Independent Board of New Kabul City Development, said a total 120 contracts worth $80 billion would be signed to complete the project.
Planning for new Kabul City began in 2006 when President Hamid Karzai set up a board of Afghan and foreign experts to develop a new city to provide additional housing for residents of the capital.
In 2009, the Cabinet endorsed a master plan to build the new city in three phases spanning 15 years.
By 2025, the project is expected to create 500,000 jobs - 100,000 in agriculture, 100,000 in industry and 300,000 in service and other sectors.
The first phase, to be completed in 2015, is to provide 80,000 housing units for 400,000 people. The plan is for international donors and the Afghan government to supply $11 billion over the next 15 to 20 years to build water and sewer lines, electricity and roads.