Georgian government to suspend Tbilisi railway bypass project

Georgia Materials 6 August 2013 13:34 (UTC +04:00)

Georgia, Tbilisi, August 6 /Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /

The Georgian government plans to suspend the construction of rail bypass in Tbilisi for as long as there is no a final decision on a plan to move the railway from the centre of Tbilisi, Georgia's Minister of Economy and vice-Premier George Kvirikashvili told journalists.

The project which began to be implemented in 2010, envisages moving the railway from the centre of Tbilisi to its southern area. It is planned that a new railway will pass at a 10 kilometres distance from the current line. According to the project, over 70 hectares of land will be freed in the city centre for urban development projects.

"The final decision hasn't been officially made. We believe that we will suspend this project for a certain period and if a better decision is made, we will return to it," Kvirikashvili said.

This decision caused severe criticism by the initiator of the project, the mayor of Tbilisi. According to him, the interest of the whole capital is sacrificed for the interest of one company.

"The implementation of a rail bypass project would pave the way for the urban development of Tbilisi. I want to ask the government to come to the negotiation table and discuss the situation when on one side of the scale there is the city and its interests and on the other, the interests of one company," Ugulava noted.

Ugulava stated that the rail bypass project "may be not so profitable for Georgia,, but it is inexpedient to stop it when around 80 per cent has already been implemented. "I believe that it is also worth financing the remaining 20 per cent," the Tbilisi mayor stressed.