Kazakhstan to build second bridge at Kyrgyz-Kazakh border

Kazakhstan explores the opportunity of building the second bridge across River Chu at Kyrgyz-Kazakh border's check point Ak-Jol-Korday, Kubanychbek Kulmatov, Chairman of the State Customs Service (SCS) of Kyrgyzstan, told KyrTAG on Monday.

"The Kazakh side wants to build an additional bridge over River Chu to let part of its citizens passing the border go through the bridge. Thus, they will increase the passing capacity," Kulmatov noted.

Kulmatov claims the check point's infrastructure from the very beginning was not technically designed for such a mass flow of people.

"The Government of Kazakhstan now assigns money to build the bridge, and Prime Minister Karim Masimov instructed to work out these issues," he said.

SCS head says daily throughput capacity of check point Ak-Jol-Korday is 5,500 people going toward both directions. However, a much larger number of people passes the border. Particularly, this number increased up to 32,000-35,000 daily in summertime.

"Technically, today we are prepared to let such number of people pass the border as the structure of our section of the check point is such that we can increase the flow of people. We can do 5 passing strips or even 10, if necessary. The Kazakh section of the check point is built differently, in the form of arch, and the whole infrastructure is inside the arch so they currently can not create additional lines for citizens to pass the check point," Kulmatov added.

Nevertheless, the matter of opening green corridor has partially been settled, he said.

"Now we only tried to separate flows. Those traveling without luggage had to stand in a common queue with those carrying luggage. From now on, those carrying luggage can enter a separate corridor to pass the border rapidly. The pavement part is for those carrying luggage," Kulmatov noted.

As viewed by him, those who want to pass the border with commercial cargoes cause problems at the border.

"No one forbids them formalizing a portion of goods in the territory of Kyrgyzstan and then send it to Kazakhstan legally. This is the matter of transition of goods and transport vehicles. Of course, this is expensive but this is the law. We have no right to settle tariff policy matters in Customs Union member states; Kazakh customs officers observe such rules to defend their market," he added.

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