ADB refuses to fund light rail project in Kazakh capital
Astana, Kazakhstan, Dec.28
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
The Asian Development Bank analyzed the package of economic and social benefits, and has concluded that the light rail transit (LRT) in Astana is too expensive, the mayor of Astana, Imangaly Tasmagambetov said at a briefing on Dec.27.
"The light rail project was planned to be implemented with loans from international financial organizations. In particular, funding through the Asian Development Bank was considered. However, after analyzing the whole package of economic and social benefits, ADB has concluded the project is too expensive, therefore its economically disadvantageous at this stage," the mayor of Astana said.
Tasmagambetov said that the city authorities agree with this conclusion. In particular, while the construction of the first light rail line with a length of 21 kilometres costs almost 250 billion tenge ($ 1 = 153, 8 tenge), 85 billion tenge are being spent on the same section for a rapid transit bus line on specially separated lanes.
"The comparison says it all: the price difference of the two projects is almost 151 billion tenge, or one billion dollars. Therefore, it was agreed to implement the project on a bus rapid transit line on a specially separated lanes with the completion of the first line in 2016," the mayor said.
The mayor also said the completion of this project, with a total length of 63 kilometres will cover not only the left bank but also the right bank of the city, where the passenger traffic is high.
"Thus, we will be able to provide passengers with public transportation and improve traffic management," Tasmagambetov stressed.
Translated by M.L.
Edited by C.N.