Thursday, October 27 2016 16:43
Naira Badalian

Transport Minister: North-South project will not be cancelled

Transport Minister: North-South project will not be cancelled

ArmInfo. "I have never said  about suspending implementation of North-South project, I have only  noted that the issue will be discussed and one should not have  disseminated non correct statements", the Minister of Transport,  Communications and IT Vahan Martirosyan stated after the government  session on October 27. According to the Minister suspension of the  work is out of question. According to the Minister the work is being  conducted according to the schedule.  "Construction of Tranche 3,  section between Talin and Gyumri, will be finished in 2018",  Martirosyan assured. 

On October 20 the Minister of Transport, Communication and  Information Technologies Vahan Martirosyan told journalists that the  ministry is assessing the efficiency of construction of the  North-South highway in the territory of Armenia. The Minister noted  that at the current stage the efficiency of both the highway  construction and the North- South project in general is being  assessed. He did not rule out possible replacement of the developer  company and revision of the construction period. "There will be no  abuse during my term in the minister's office, believe me," he said.   Martirosyan pointed out that there is no final conclusion about the  future of the project yet. "I think it is unreasonable to change  anything without conducting the relevant surveys. We are assessing  the efficiency of the project to understand how to continue the  implementation of the project or whether to continue it at all," he  said.

To recall, in July 2016, when commenting on the "delay of  construction of the Ashtarak-Talin section of the North- South  project," the then Prime Minister of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan said  that the Spanish construction company had become a real evil for the  North-South road corridor. He also stressed that there were problems  also with the Ararat section of the road, whose quality did not meet  the standards. "There are certain problems with this company,  according to the rumors, the funds were misappropriated, please check  into the matter", Abrahamyan instructed.  Meanwhile, information was  spread in mass media that because of Armenian "traditional  corruption" the Spanish company does not manage to conduct  construction activities and has decided to leave Armenia. According  to the rumors criminal case was initiated against the Spanish  company, the Finance Ministry of Armenia confirmed the information.   Preliminary investigation is underway. 

To note, the North-South 556km highway will be laid via the Armenian  towns of Meghri-Kapan-Goris- Yerevan- Ashtarak- Gyumri-Bavra and  enter the territory of Georgia on Akhaltsikhe-Batumi section, which  will settle some transport problems of Armenia.  This will be a  four-lane motorway of reinforced concrete extending from the Armenian  border and Iran to the Georgian port Batumi. The road corridor will  facilitate improving the road connection with the two neighbors of  Armenia: Iran and Georgia, providing access to international trade  routes and markets.  Armenia raised $500mln loan from the Asian  Development Bank for the project that is estimated at $1 billion.   Eurasian Development Bank is ready to provide $150 million.  Armenia  raised $60 million from the European investment Bank.  Due to the  project, the overland communication Europe-Caucasus-Asia will be  improved. The project will be completed by 2019. It will allow  Armenia to soften the consequences of the blockade by Azerbaijan and  Turkey and to join the Black Sea ring highway. Corsan Corvian Spanish  company has won the tenders for construction of the first sections of  the road, Chinese Sinohydro Corporation has won the tender for  construction of the Lanjik- Gyumri section in north of Armenia. 


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