BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 25
By Eldar Janashvili - Trend:
The transport sector must emerge from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as a driver of sustainable growth with three critical factors in mind - SDG, which in this case stands for “Safety, Data, and Green”, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa said at the 7th Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum 2020, Trend reports referring to ADB.
“The pandemic dealt the transport sector a massive blow that will be felt for years,” Asakawa said. “Our work now is to focus on mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic so that economies can adapt to the changed landscape and rejuvenate transport services. At the same time, issues that existed before the pandemic still require action. These include transport infrastructure, road safety, and freight and public transport challenges.”
“In the short term, more effort is needed to reassure public transport users of safety and rebuild public confidence,” ADB president said. “Second, data are required to fully understand the evolving situation of the pandemic and inform strategic direction for projects. Third, there are many opportunities to develop a greener transport future. For example, app-based delivery systems have become a feature of daily life but risk adding to road congestion and pollution.”
“To address this, we must promote a green recovery focused on sustainability,” Asakawa said. “One option is to support a shift to electric vehicles. ADB also sees opportunities to promote walking and cycling in Asian cities, and to improve the efficiency of logistics and supply chains.”
“In the first half of 2020, ADB has invested in a wide range of projects in the transport sector to support its recovery and investment,” ADB president added. “Those include $235 million for a bus rapid transit system in Karachi, Pakistan, and inter-island transport in Kiribati.”
As for Azerbaijan, according to the program for the development of the railway sector in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC received a loan from ADB to finance the railway sector, for financial restructuring of the company and improvement of the railway infrastructure, in particular, along the North-South international transport corridor, in the Baku-Yalama section stretching 382 kilometers.
Thus, at least 14 railway stations will be built along the line of the Sumgayit-Yalama section. The construction work has already begun at some facilities within the project. The construction process will last approximately two years.
Moreover, ADB is supporting funding for two road projects, namely, the restoration of the Ujar-Zardab (R32) and Yevlakh-Sheki (M5) roads.
One of the important goals of these projects is to connect the feeder roads to the main road within the project and increase the socio-economic benefits of local communities and rural people.
Azerbaijan has received loans worth over $4 billion from ADB since the country's accession to ADB membership in 1999.
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