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International banks treat construction of new roads in Kyrgyzstan with caution – expert

January 20, 2014

The Bishkek-Osh highway is one of the CAREC corridors, its main rehabilitation donor is the Asian Development Bank (ADB), coordinator of the group for implementation of investment projects under the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Kyrgyzstan Sultan Sarbagyshev told Tazabek in an interview. Thus, several options of alternative bypass roads on the highway's segment from Bishkek to Kara-Balta were developed: a) estimated cost of the 60-km road construction from Bishkek to Kara-Balta along the railway comprises $180 million ; b) estimated cost of the 60-km road construction from Bishkek to Kara-Balta along Big Chu Channel comprises $338 million . "We had many other options, including construction of a road along the foothills. In fact, we have been developing the alternative road along the water channel. We suggest to implement the project in the framework of public-private partnership as international banks will not finance such projects. ADB does not finance such alternative roads because their program in Kyrgyzstan covers only rehabilitation of the existing transport corridors," the expert noticed. There are many obstacles for the banks to implement new road projects. "First of all, treatment of international donors towards construction of new roads is biased as many interests of the local population are involved: private property, land. In other words, the banks won't finance resettlement. Land allocation for such projects is the responsibility of Kyrgyzstan , and the country itself wouldn't overbear this burden as land withdrawal or compensations require high investment. That is why construction of the bypass road was offered on the basis of public-private partnership. If we find investors who would agree to invest not only in construction but also in land withdrawal, we will be able to implement such projects," Sultan Sarbagyshev concluded.

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Source: AKIpress News Agency (Kyrgyz Republic)

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