BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 16
Azerbaijan, which does not have access to the world ocean, has become one of Eurasia’s international transport centers, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said receiving Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade, Trend reports.
“As is the case with all other spheres in Azerbaijan, transport sector developed well last year,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “This development is manifested in real projects and is also reflected in the reports of international organizations. Suffice it to say that a record figure was reached in the construction of roads last year - 1,300 kilometers of roads were built. Thus, intercity traffic improved and the construction of trunk roads was continued. The roads of hundreds of schools were improved and reconstructed.”
The Davos World Economic Forum has praised the work Azerbaijan is doing in the transport sector, the Azerbaijani president said.
“In general, Azerbaijan’s transport infrastructure ranks 31st in the world according to the Davos report,” Ilham Aliyev added. “This is a fairly high indicator. In terms of this indicator, we are ahead of several developed countries. In terms of the quality of roads, we are in 27th place in the world. According to the efficiency of railway transport, we are in 11th place and for air transport in 12th place.”
“In other words, this essentially shows that the work recently done in the transport sector deserves the highest praise,” said the Azerbaijani president. “Along with this, very important interstate projects were implemented last year. The commissioning of a new automobile bridge on the Azerbaijani-Russian border was a major event, because the previous bridge was built in the 1950s and had practically become unserviceable.”
“The new bridge will serve the development of both transport and trade relations between Azerbaijan and Russia,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “At the same time, it is an integral part of the North-South transport corridor. Currently, a new highway is being built to the Russian border and the bulk of this highway will be commissioned by the end of the year.”
In parallel, there are plans to build a new highway from Astara to the Iranian border, the Azerbaijani president added.
“This issue has been agreed with the Iranian side,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Thus, trucks will be able to directly move in the direction of Iran without entering Astara. In addition, a new automobile bridge will be built. A few years ago, a new railway bridge was built between the two countries, which is of great importance for the functioning of the North-South transport corridor.”
“Of course, more goods were transported along the North-South transport corridor last year,” the Azerbaijani president added. “This is natural because there has been a lot of recovery in this direction since the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Goods are being transported not only from the eastern direction, but also from Russia to Turkey and Europe through the territory of Azerbaijan, and the volume of cargo will grow every year. Thus, Azerbaijan, which does not have access to the world ocean, has become one of Eurasia’s international transport centers.”
This year's investment program provides for sufficiently large funds for the development of the transport sector, said Ilham Aliyev.
“At the same time, specific projects related to the construction of roads and railways will be implemented,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “The Laki-Gabala railway should be commissioned this year. At the same time, we are starting to design and build the Baku-Yalama and Khudat-Shahdag railways. Thus, we will significantly improve the quality of existing railways and train speeds will increase accordingly.”
“We also attach great importance to the development of urban transport,” said Ilham Aliyev. “This year, an additional 300 modern buses will be delivered to Baku and work in this direction will be continued in the future. At the same time, on my instruction, new taxis should be delivered. We must make sure that there are modern taxi services in all our cities, first of all, in large ones.”
“It is necessary to set up modern taxi stations, train drivers and arrange for their medical examination,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “As in all areas, in this area too, we must move from cash to card payments and install taximeters. So not only in Baku, but first of all in all large cities, and at the subsequent stage in other cities as well.”
This also applies to bus transport because currently bus service in Baku and Sumgayit meets modern standards, said Ilham Aliyev.
“But this is not the case everywhere,” the Azerbaijani president added. “Low-quality buses with expired service life are still functioning in Baku. For this purpose, we deliver 300 buses to our country every year. According to the information provided to me, the bus sector in Ganja is outdated. How many buses operate in other cities, how many should be purchased? Of course, first of all, this issue should be resolved in the capital – the city of Baku. But other cities should not be ignored either.”