ArmInfo. Hundreds of employees involved in the construction of the "North-South Road" Program claim debt for payment. This is stated in a statement circulated on Friday September 20 by employees of 28 organizations working on the North-South Road corridor investment program.
In addition, staff members are concerned about the media reporting allegations of abuse in the North-South case.
To note, on September 20, in the "Zhamanak" newspaper with the heading "Large-scale abuses" an article was published: "52 people may be arrested in the North-South case". The "Zhamanak" newspaper, citing its sources, in particular writes: "The abuse is so widespread that the Investigative Committee does not dare to indict more people, fearing that as a result it may be understood that there is no person who would deal with the construction this road and did not appropriate funds".
In this regard, the "North-South Road" Program employees believe that the publication contains language that discredits the honor and dignity of employees and their good reputation. As noted in a statement of about 850 employees involved in the construction of the highway, since September 2018 they have not received their salaries.
<On May 30, Varag Siseryan, head of the office of RA Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, met with employees of the North-South highway construction companies and promised to solve our problem within 45 days. However, 120 days have already passed, we met with Siseryan several times, he told us that the issue is in the process of being resolved, but there is no result yet, "the statement said.
The statement also attached a list of data from 28 contracting organizations indicating the amount of debt.
It should be noted that in the framework of the preliminary investigation in the criminal case on the abuses committed during the implementation of the North-South road corridor construction program, charges were brought against the brother of the third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan Levon Sargsyan. Yesterday it also became known about the detention of the executive director of the "Multi Group Concern" Sedrak Arustamyan.
Earlier, ArmInfo reported in the course of Yerevan-Artashat of the transport corridor "North- South", which corridor was commissioned at the end of 2015, cracks were found. Meanwhile, according to the actual estimate of $ 2 million per 1 km. the road was supposed to be magnificent. The Spanish company Corsan Corviam carried out work on this site. The situation is no better on the Talin- Lanjik section, which is being built by the Chinese "Sinohidro Corporation" company, which has committed numerous violations. Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan even admitted the possibility of corruption risks in the actions of the Chinese company.
It should be noted that in 2018, $ 47 million was allocated for the continuation of the North-South transport corridor program. Funds will be raised in the form of credit resources from the Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank and Eurasian Development Bank, another 2.8 billion drams received as the grant from the European Investment Bank. The main area of work next year will unfold on 84 km of the highway, on which it is planned to lay concrete on 40-45 km. Work, in particular, will be carried out on a section of the road from the cities of Ashtarak to Gyumri. As a result, the road from 2 lanes will expand to 4, and concrete will be laid instead of asphalt.
According to current estimates, the construction of the entire 556-km North-South highway, which stretches from Bavra to Meghri, will cost more than $ 2 billion, since its only southern section, between the cities of Artashat and Meghri, according to preliminary estimates it will cost $ 1.5 billion. Meanwhile, five years ago, in September 2012, when the construction of the motorway began, the amount that representatives of the Armenian government called was more than half that - $ 962 million.
To date, 150.3 million dollars and 23.14 million euros have been spent. At the moment, only a 31 km section has been built and modernized, for which $ 70 million has been spent. The remaining amount was allocated for excavation work on the Ashtarak-Talin and Talin-Gyumri sections. Concreting works were also carried out on the 11 km road. The construction of the corridor was originally planned to be completed in 2019, however, as RA Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies Ashot Hakobyan stated the day before, the deadlines are postponed for 5-10 years. Under the North-South program, the Armenian government calculated the preliminary savings of $ 2.5 per hour for each passenger and $ 1 per hour for the transportation of a ton of cargo. As the Armenian authorities expect, the program will allow the country to mitigate the consequences of the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey in the future, as the transit state in the cargo transportation of the countries of the region, as well as join the Black Sea ring highway.