Deadlock of the Georgian Military Road: view from Georgia
The issue of the Georgian Military Road, which is constantly closed due to the impact of elements, is quite acute for the Georgian government today, but the improving of the road infrastructure, as well as searching of detours is too expensive for the country's budget, which means that they should start with changes in fiscal policy and the management structure.
The head of the Institute of Management Strategy, Petre Mamradze, speaking to a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the only one road makes it more difficult to trade with Russia.
"There were tactical works, works to strengthen the Georgian Military Road and so on, but now it is difficult for Georgia with its budget to do it. Therefore, I would welcome any new road. The Georgian Military Road is the old route, which was used by Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, but there should be other roads," he said.
However, so far there is no alternative, and according to the expert, the Georgian government exerted every effort to restore the road. "But if we look at the scope of work, it is clear that there is still a lot to be done in this direction in Georgia and it is not comparable with the capabilities of the Georgian budget." the head of the Institute of Management Strategy explained.
"It is necessary to change a lot in Georgia's budget and the management structure. We employ four times more people in the public sector than in the private, everything must be in a completely inverse proportion," Mamradze noted.
As for the current situation, the expert said that it is necessary to gather professionals involved in the sphere of mountain roads to create a clear action plan.
The head of the Institute of Management Strategy said that the state of the infrastructure is catastrophic in Georgia, which causes real disasters. "A little rain causes flooding in Tbilisi, because relevant structures cannot cope with it. The infrastructure, which was presented by Mikheil Saakashvili as a modernized one, fails. In fact, it's all been a bluff: a lot of money was spent, there are very few results. Therefore, they have to initiate a wide field of operations" Petre Mamradze concluded.
The Georgian political expert Georgy Nodia, in turn, said that the Georgian Military Road is important, but fortunately for Georgia it is not the only transportation artery.
He explained that for Armenia the closure of the highway was much more painful, "because this trade is particularly important for them, and they have no other road, when Georgia has more options". "In any case, of course, when the road is the one one and unstable - it's not a good thing," the expert said.
Nodia noted that, undoubtedly, today it is very important for the Georgian government to resume the traffic of the Georgian Military Road. "But we cannot say that it is a key task in the field of the transport infrastructure. It is one of the most important traffic arteries, but not the only one," he explained, adding that the issue of search for a alternative route is not acute in Georgia now.
As Vestnik Kavkaza previously reported, on 23 June, there was a powerful mudflow in Georgia's Daryal Gorge, which blocked almost half of a one kilometer section of the Georgian Military Road. On June 30 the Georgian Infrastructure Minister Nodar Javakhishvili said at a cabinet meeting that if the weather does not interfere with the ongoing works, the route will be reopened in 2 weeks.