Monday, January 17 2022 20:34
Alina Hovhannisyan

Only 5.5% of the highway was built under North-South program in 12  years

Only 5.5% of the highway was built under North-South program in 12  years

ArmInfo. Since 2009, since the launch of the program for the construction of the North-South highway, which covers 556 km, and to this day, a section of only 31  km has been built, which is over 5% of the total km of the road.

At the same time, according to the data of the Ministry of Finance,  since 2009, the Armenian government has concluded 3 loan agreements  with international partners for the implementation of this program  for a total of $541 million, of which $283.2 million has not been  used at all. In particular, the volume of the loan agreement with the  Asian Development Bank amounted to $323.6 million, with the Eurasian  Development Bank - $150 million, the European Investment Bank - $67.3  million.  Since 2009, on these loans, Armenia has allocated $26  million only for repayment of interest rates, and $2.8 million - a  fine for non-use of loan funds.

The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures still  finds it difficult to answer the question about the timing of the  completion of the construction of the highway. In particular,  according to Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and  Infrastructures Kristine Galechyan, it will be possible to answer  such a question if it is possible to clarify the sources of financing  for all sections of the highway. In particular, according to her, at  this stage there are no specifics on financing for the Gyumri-Bavra,  Artashat-Sisian, and Kajaran tunnel roads. "But active work is  underway to find and clarify sources of funding," she stressed. At  the same time, according to the deputy minister, if the issue of  financial resources can be resolved and construction work begins at  the same time, then the program for the construction of the  North-South highway will be completed after 6-7 years.

In general, the program is estimated at $3.5 billion drams, of which  $1.5 billion is needed only for the Sisian-Agarak section, which  includes the Sisian-Kajaran road ($920 million), the tunnel (7 km,  $250 million) and the Kajaran-Agarak road (32 km, $249 million).

In September 2018, criminal cases were opened under this program, as  a result of which 17 people were charged. According to the latest  estimates, conducted by the Prosecutor General's Office in 2019, the  damage to the state is estimated at $50 million. It is also known  that the amount of unpaid taxes under this program is estimated at  about $5.5 million.

The project to create a North-South transport corridor with a total  length of 556 km will provide access to the Black Sea and European  countries through the territory of Armenia  (Meghri-Kapan-Goris-Yerevan- Ashtarak-Gyumri-Bavra) and Georgia. The  investment program is aimed at ensuring the connection of the north  (border with Georgia) and the south of Armenia (border with Iran)  through transport communications that meet high international  standards and access to world markets. The construction of the  corridor was originally planned to be completed in 2019.


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