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Official.kg: road making can’t bring glory to anybody

The scandal surrounding the tender for the reconstruction of Bishkek - Kara-Balta road is gaining momentum. Its results are not announced so far, but the pressure by the ex-minister of transport and roads on the tender commission though law enforcement bodies has already been proved.

Ministry of road scandals

Over the last year, the Ministry of Transport and Roads appoints its already the third head. Zamirbek Aidarov has worked at the post a little more than six months, but has managed to be involved in the conflict over the tender for the reconstruction of Bishkek - Kara-Balta road. The dispute over the eventual winner of the tender reached the Parliament.

Deputies made the Corruption Control Service of the State Committee for National Security wake up and carefully examine the circumstances of the conflict. The result was obvious. CCS asked the members of the tender commission, the attracted specialists, examined the individual circumstances of the case. 

All the findings together confirm the intervention by the now ex-minister of transport and roads Zamirbek Aidarov in the tendering process.

The fact that Zamirbek Aidarov pressed on the tender commission in order it to recognize the Chinese company China Railway №5 the winner with the lowest price was also confirmed. It offered to reconstruct the road for the record-low $ 70 million at an estimated project cost of $ 100 million. The closest bidder has offered $ 12 million more. 

 It seems the choice is obvious. However, the project consultant Eptisa warned against a hasty decision. Too low price threatens with disruption of the project or even its failure. Kyrgyzstan will be responsible for this, but not China Railway №5 or the donor of the project- the Asian Development Bank, which together with Zamirbek Aidarov insisted on choosing the Chinese company.

CCS SCNS is sure that the collected material amounts to a criminal case under articles 304 (misuse of office) and 305 (abuse of power) of the Criminal Code of Kyrgyzstan. But the Prosecutor General's Office has to initiate the case and evaluate the actions of Zamirbek Aidarov.

How PM got out of the shadows

After the change of the majority coalition and the composition of the government, Zamirbek Aidarov lost his post. The Prime Minister did not voice the reasons for his dismissal. During the discussions about a new head of the department and scandalous conflict over reconstruction of Bishkek - Kara-Balta road, Sooronbay Jeenbekov made quite an unexpected statement.

First, the Prime Minister refused to comment on what is happening in every way, "in order you not to say that I interfere." And then he confessed that he agrees with Zamirbek Aidarov. 

 "Zamirbek Aidarov correctly believed that the winner must be a company with the lowest price. The decision to award the victory to the Chinese company would have saved $ 12 million. I do not want to interfere, but I think that any decision should be made taking into account the interests of the state," Sooronbay Jeenbekov commented.

 It turns out that all the time long the Prime Minister was aware of what is happening, but chose not to intervene in the minister's affairs. The main thing is to save money. It, apparently, does not matter what will be the price of such savings for the government officials.

Deputies' "excavations" not to add optimism

Now the members of the parliamentary committee on the rule of law, crime and corruption control study the acting tenders and large projects on reconstruction of roads. Results are to be presented the other day. But some the parliamentarians shared some details.

"We have studied more than a thousand pages of documents on several road projects. There are systemic violations everywhere - on procedures, the quality of work," Mirlan Zheenchoroev said.

I would like only to recall that the former prime minister lost his seat because of the scandal with other road projects. It was then exactly Temir Sariev who got all the bumps. No one listened to his arguments that there was the rampant lawlessness and permissiveness in the Ministry of Transport. But they should.

The new minister is the ex-director of the Project Institute "Kyrgyzdortransproekt" Zhamshitbek Kalilov. He is a person who is more than aware of all the gray schemes in the Ministry of Transport. But whether he wants to rake Augean stables or prefers to spend the allotted time in the warm chair and get his share of goodies?