BISHKEK (TCA) -- Last week, Kyrgyz MPs accused the Ministry of Transport and Communications of constructing low quality new roads. MPs believe that the allocated funds have not been fully used and some of funds have been misappropriated.
Representatives of the Government explained that the poor quality of roads is the result of corruption and fraud of previous high-ranking officials. However, when the deputies asked to name them, the response was that the law enforcement agencies should investigate such issues. The officials assured that this will not happen now because there is parliamentary control over road construction. In the framework of the Medium-Term Development Program, the Government has planned the rehabilitation and construction of roads of national importance.
Every year Kyrgyzstan spends a lot of money for road repairing. According to the Ministry of Transport, 270 kilometers of roads were repaired last year in Kyrgyzstan. The cost of the performed work amounted to 1.5 billion soms ($1=46.8 soms). Currently, major international transport corridors are being rehabilitated.
Last year 500 million soms were allocated from the state budget for road repairing in Bishkek. This year, many roads are not suitable for driving. The same situation is in Naryn. Experts said that the roadbed collapsed there because a road layer was made only eight centimeters thick instead of the required 12 centimeters.
In 2012 state budget allocated 723 million soms for repair work in the country.
Deputies said that the Bishkek-Osh road was designed for ten years of good service, but after seven years it is coming to ruin. Minister of Transport and Communications Kalykbek Sultanov stated that the service life of this road has expired.
The Bishkek-Osh road was built by Korean company Samsung in 2000. After the first six years of operation it was necessary to make major repairs, that is, to remove the top layer of asphalt and to lay a new one. But there were no state funds for this.
In addition, the road is flawed because the Government previously authorized travel of 60-100 tons vehicles for payment. Currently six control scales are operating along the Bishkek-Osh road. However, there are problems with the owners of heavy trucks from China, added Minister.
If the Government does not take urgent measures, the strategic road in the Batken Oblast in the south including the new Osh-Batken-Isfana road, will be ruined in two or three years. The roads cannot withstand the load of passing 60-65 ton trucks. More than 30 kilometers of roads have already become unfit for use in the region.
According to the deputies’ proposal, the Government has established a Commission to study the state of municipal roads in Bishkek and the Osh Oblast, as well as public roads in the country. The corresponding decree was signed by Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov. The Commission will control and evaluate the built, rehabilitated and reconstructed parts of roads, and will submit a report to the Government.
Inspections of the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption revealed that some sections of the Bishkek-Naryn-Torugart road were constructed in violation of standards. The Directorate also revealed over-estimates of road work funding and procurement of goods at inflated prices.
Moreover, the consumables were used incompletely, resulting in poor road quality. For example, testing of the concrete mixture showed that the builders used a mixture allowed to be applied only in areas with the average temperature of the coldest time of year below +5 degrees Celsius. As a result, the state suffered large damage.
Activities of a number of senior ministry officials are under investigation.