Government to suspend Tbilisi bypass railway construction
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 7Georgian Minister of Economy, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said on August 5, that the Georgian government plans to temporarily suspend the project of constructing bypass railways around Tbilisi. This will be the case until the government receives a final decision regarding how this project should be implemented. The previous government started this project in 2010. It was designed to move the railway line ten kilometers away from the centre of the capital and thus eventually free the space of 70 hectares which could be utilized for different purposes.
The project was suspended under the recommendation of the Chairman of the Board of Observers of the Georgian Railways, Koka Guntsadze, who stated that according to the calculations and assessments, the maintaining of this railway bypass line and the operational costs would increase and make it more complicated for the technical assistance of the line. He also said that railway capacity will decrease.
Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, criticized this decision commenting that although it could not be a very profitable project it was not justified to suspend the construction of the project when 80% of the work had already been carried out and only 20% needed to be financed.
In March, 2011, the EBRD expressed its readiness to issue a 100 million EUR loan for financing the project. However, in November of 2011, Georgian Railways expressed its readiness to finance the project itself.