Astana-Borovoye toll road to bring $6.5 million in 2014
Kazakhstan's first 6-lane toll road connecting Astana city and Borovoye resort is expected to bring 1.2 billion tenge (around $6.5 million) into the state budget in 2014, Tengrinews reports referring to Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Mereke Pshembayev.
"Last year, the state budget received over 800 million tenge (around $4.4 million) from the toll road. These funds are used to cover the road’s routine maintenance expenses. This year we plan to receive 1 billion 200 million tenge (around $6.5 million) ," he said.
Mr. Pshembayev said that the road was paying off despite occasional glitches in the payment system.
"Toll roads are practiced all over the world. All the developed countries use the fares to cover operating costs. Astana - Borovoye is our first project. Glitches still happen, we know that, but we are fine-tuning the system," the Deputy Minister said.
The toll for a passenger car is around 200 tenge (a little over $1): around 1 tenge per 1 km. The cost for buses depends on the number of seats and usually ranges from 5 to 10 tenge ($0.3-0.5) per 1 km. The cost for trucks is calculated based on their carrying capacity and usually makes around 5-20 tenge ($0.3-0.11) per 1 km totalling at 4.5-5 thousand tenge ($25-27) for the whole toll section.
"The money is then used to maintain the road. According to standards, maintenance of this kind of road requires almost 1 billion tenge ($5.5 million) (a year). But we are not taking this money from the state budget," Mr. Pshembayev said.
Kyzylorda - Shymkent section of the Western China - Western Europe transport corridor is expected to become Kazakhstan's second toll road, the Deputy Minister said.
"The load on the road is quite intense, especially from the city of Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Melons and vegetables are transported around the year. We need to use its opportunity, but, make sure it does not become an extra burden for the local population," he said.
Kyzylorda - Shymkent toll road project will be followed by Shymkent - Taraz highway (after the year 2017) and later the latter toll section will be continued onwards to Khorgas, at Kazakhstan's border with China, according to the Ministry.
In addition, this year a Turkish company plans to introduce a fare at Astana - Atbasar highway. "We are not spending any budget funds on this project. It all comes from the investor's money: the company will install the payment equipment, test it, launch the toll road and then wait for the investments to pay off," he said adding that there were now plans to extend this toll section any further in the nearest 2 or 3 years.
Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina