Kazakhstan to improve 80% of its roads by 2020
Photo courtesy of autoitogi.ru
Most of Kazakhstan's roads are going to be improved by 2020, Tengrinews reports citing Minister of Transport and Communication Askar Zhumagaliyev. "More than 80% of the roads will be brought to a satisfactory quality, while 19% of roads will remain in an unsatisfactory condition. Considering the fact that we have a large territory, this is a good percentage," Zhumagaliyev said at the sidelines of a government meeting. He presented a draft state project of transport infrastructure development to be implemented before 2020 at the meeting. The project involves reconstructions, overhauls and medium-scale repairs of 30 thousand kilometers of the country's roads. "The target condition of the general use roads for 2020 is as follows: 32 thousand kilometers will be of good quality; 46.6 kilometers will be of satisfactory quality and the rest of the roads will remain in unsatisfactory condition, their reconstruction is scheduled for a more distant future," Zhumagaliyev said, presenting the draft state program. According to him, the work will prioritize the following road projects: Western Europe - Western China highway, Center - South highway, Center - East highway, Center - West highway, Astana - Ust-Kamenogorsk highway, Astana - Almaty highway and Astana - Aktau highway. The draft project came some time after President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev criticized the quality of roads at an extend government meeting. He then stressed that high technologies had to be used in road construction to make the roads more durable. An inspection and analysis of Kazakhstan's roads preceded the presentation of the draft project. It was found that 9,087 km (43.1 percent) of the country's roads have defects on their riding surfaces, according to Director of the national Road Workers Union Azimkhan Zhumabekov. According to the analyses, 2504 kilometers or 19% of the inspected roads have dangerous defects. Pot-holes were registered at 823.9 thousand square meters and shortcomings in road signs and road surface markings were found at 6.5 thousand kilometers. 6443.2 kilometers or 30.6% of Kazakhstan roads are crumbling and require an overhaul. The Road Workers Union believes that shortage of funding of road maintenance works is the main cause of the bad condition of roads in Kazakhstan. Based on the standards approved by the government, 41.9 billion tenge ($274 thousand) was supposed to be allocated from the state budget for maintenance of roads of international and national significance in 2013, but only 7.8 billion tenge ($51 thousand) or 17% of of the required amount was actually allocated.