Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.13
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
The Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway project has been grappling with a budget deficit, ISNA quoted Deputy Director of the Iranian Transportation Infrastructures Development Company, Hossein Nazadar, as saying on December 13.
The railway had been scheduled to be inaugurated this year, but the project is faced with a budget deficit, he added. If the financial problem is resolved, the railway will be inaugurated next year, he said.
The project needs some eight trillion rials ($320 million) which will be provided through selling bonds, he noted.
Previously, Iranian officials said the Qazvin -Rasht-Astara railway will be constructed in March 2014.
The rail route is complex and includes 22 tunnels and 15 special bridges. Around 70 per cent of the work for the construction of 15 tunnels has been completed.
It should be recalled that the Qazvin - Rasht- Astara railway is part of 'the North -South' transport corridor and is being constructed by Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran.
On Nov. 18, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Tehran Javanshir Akhundov underlined the importance of this rail route for the expansion of bilateral ties between Tehran and Baku, IRNA reported.
"Launching the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway will lead to expansion of economic relations between Iran and Azerbaijan," Akhundov said during a visit by representatives of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) whilst referring to the under-construction of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara rail network.
He pointed out that its construction will link Iran's railway system to Russia via Azerbaijan, and said, "These three countries, namely Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia, have a trilateral contract for construction and completion of the railway system.