BTK RAILWAY SABOTAGED?
11 July, 2013
BTK RAILWAY SABOTAGED?
The construction works at the Georgian segments of upcoming Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, expected to connect the east with the west through the direct rail route, develops without problems and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. This message was sent by the administration of Marabda-Kartsakhi railway, Georgian part of the BTK railway, on July 8, 2013 in response to the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, who visited Marabda-Kartsakhi construction works on July 7 and found it below the par.
“It is a foul game that construction of BTK railway is suspended while Georgian-Abkhazian railway is to be opened up that hinders Georgia to go to Europe,” Saakashvili complained, regretting that BTK railway will not be completed this year because of encumbrances in financing as well as due to many unclear issues that emerged between Georgia and Azerbaijan in conjunction to the said project. He confessed that he was going to complete his office term, expiring in this coming October, by opening ceremony of BTK railway, however very likely it will be completed neither this nor the next year, Saakashvili surmised. Irakli Tsulaia, Director of Marabda-Kartsakhi railway, accused Georgian president of a lie and discrediting the BTK. According to him, construction works on BTK project became even faster compared to the previous tempo. Tsulaia refuted problems in financing or in relation with Azeri side and called Saakashvili’s statement irresponsible. However, he admitted that there are questions respective to the BTK, “but addressers of these questions are not Azerbaijani partners but the ex-powers that embezzled millions,” he said, adding that investigations respective to the issue are on and details will be disclosed soon. Tsulaia accentuated, that after construction works that started 4 years ago, only 28% of works were completed while the new administration plans to implement the remaining 72% until the end of 2014. Twelve working fronts are opened by today at Marabda-Kartsakhi construction site after head of Georgian Railway changed in January of 2013 while there were only four during the rule of ex-powers. Also, an agreement on account of Afghan bound cargos is achieved.
“Georgian and Azeri sides are put in charge to coordinate between themselves the issue so as to make ready Marabda-Kartsakhi passage for transiting Afghan cargos,” Tsulaia said. He also emphasized that the minimal salary of workers on the Marabda-Kartsakhi passage almost doubled from GEL 400-500, fixed by previous administration, to GEL 800.
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