Bypass road, “bypassed” by the Authorities
Announced with great pomp in early 2012, Chisinau's bypass road remained just an unfulfilled promise. Five years after the announcement of the project, the authorities did not even develop a feasibility study to determine the need for the ring road and its route. In the absence of the “plan”, however, a construction company was contracted, which conducted only 3% of the works in two years on a bypass road segment that was to be ready in January 2018. The whole Bypass road would cost about EUR 200 million, money the authorities do not know where to take from.
The epic saga of Chisinau Bypass road
For the first time, the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure has announced its intention to build a bypass road in Chisinau back in January 2012. The Minister of Transport at that time, Anatol Salaru stated that several project scenarios were developed and the bypass road of Chisinau will be ready in 2015. A year before the authorities had to cut the bypass road inauguration ribbon, Salaru's successor, Minister Vasile Botnari announced the first postponement. “Chisinau Municipality will have a bypass road by 2017. We want to build a modern bypass road, according to European standards”, Botnari assured. According to the official, the existence of a Chisinau bypass road would allow for full redirection of transit transport, but also an easier access to the destination for Chisinau inhabitants, bypassing the city center.
From one delay to another
The second postponement came earlier this year. In February 2017, the Minister of Transport and Road Infrastructure, Iurie Chirinciuc announced that although the construction works are underway, the inauguration of the Chisinau bypass road will be delayed until 2022. But the ministry did not show a time schedule of individual steps, that are yet necessary in project preparation. In EU countries it usually takes 7 – 10 years, plus cca 3 years for construction. A new road ca be open in 5 years only if it is currently already in the phase of land acquisition and designing detail documentation. In case of the Chisinau bypass road it is not. Not even close. More than ten months after this declaration, no km of road was built. In the place where the first segment of the bypass road should have been found, only excavations and asphalt milling work were done over a distance of one kilometer. On the side of the road, an excavator is left behind the company's two wagons. There is no human being on the site.
3% of the works, executed in two years
The rehabilitation of the first segment of 6.5 km of the Chisinau bypass road is handled by the Bulgarian company SK-13 Patstroy JSC, which was hired by the state in September 2015. With almost EUR 1.3 million invested in each kilometer, the first sector of the bypass road would be put into operation in January 2018. Until now, the Bulgarian entrepreneur executed only 3 percent of the works.
“In 2017, the company did not build anything, it only made some demolitions of the existing road structure”, confirms Alexandru Untilov, head of the State Inspection in Construction.
In the report for the month May available on the asd.md website, the State Road Administration mentioned the following: “the lack of progress on the construction site is considered by the authorities to be due to the shortage of financial sources, the lack of available credit line and the failure of the contractor to offer the bank guarantee for payment of the advance. Gheorghe Curmei, general director of the State Road Administration, however, claims that almost EUR 673 thousand from the EIB's loan reached the accounts of the Bulgarian company, but it executed works in the amount of only EUR 200 thousand.
Due to the arrears, the company risks losing the contract, says Curmei.
Harassed by the Minister of Transport?
We have not been able to contact the representatives of SK-13 Patstroy JSC. The officials from the State Road Administration also say they cannot get in touch with the Bulgarian entrepreneur. In case of emergency, the authorities declare they will have to go to Bulgaria to look for the company's management.
The company name SK-13 Patstroy JSC was targeted in the criminal case regarding the former Minister of Transport, Iurie Chirinciuc. In the motivated sentence of the Chisinau Court it is said that, through the decision makers of the State Road Administration, he would have created impediments for the company, by failing to enact certain acts for the execution of the works and delaying the approvals. The minister would have pressed the Bulgarian company to transfer 50 percent of the volume of works for the construction of the bypass road to two companies.
After several delays, currently, the authorities do not know when we will have a bypass road of Chisinau. The Transport and Logistics Strategy for 2013-2022 states that two sections of the bypass road, of 9 and 8 km respectively, estimated at EUR 41 million, have been proposed for funding from EBRD and EIB loan. Anatol Usatîi, the state secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, says that Chisinau bypass road occupies the second place in the priority list of road projects in the country, but no financial resources have yet been identified for construction.
They started the works without knowing what would come out
The Bulgarian company was contracted by the state to begin the construction of the bypass road before the existence of a feasibility study for the Chisinau bypass road project. “The feasibility study is going to show which sectors have traffic and how many roads need to be built again. And if these are needed”, says Anatol Usatîi, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.
Up to this moment, only two concepts have been developed that envisage the construction of the bypass road in Chisinau. The first one involves the construction of a four-lane road with a length of 80 km and a cost of works of EUR 220 million. The second project provides for a 62-km route that would cost EUR 200 million. However, these estimates do not include the land expropriation expenses needed to construct three new sectors out of six sectors that the bypass road will contain.
Can it be that Chisinau does not need a Bypass Road?
Ján Kovalčík, the analyst of the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms (INEKO) in Bratislava, Slovakia, says that motorway sections between cities can undertake 60-90 percent of traffic from the existing roads outside cities. However, this is not the case of bypasses, definitely not in capital cities. Traffic is much higher there not because of higher transitMost vehicles end or start the journey in the capital city.
That means a bypass designed primarily to serve transit may ease existing roads less than most people believe. Cities of the size similar to Chisinau usually need a bypass attractive also for intra-city journeys, or at least for journeys ending or starting in the capital city.
“It is very important to have a feasibility study to see whether or not the Capital needs a new road bypassing overall capital city or just a city center. It is extremely important to invite experts to carry out the traffic research to identify the existing and future bottlenecks. Additionally, in order to analyze the potential of all relevant measures that can solve the key traffic problems or can be part of a complex solution. The sooner, the better”, said Ján Kovalčík.
He also suggest to ask, whether Chisinau region took opportunity to ease roads with providing more attractive public transport (trains/trams/buses). “There is often potential of measures in public transport that can improve the use of existing infrastructure. Such measures may bring fruits earlier and even cheaper than a bypass road, which needs much more time for preparation and construction,” he add.
This investigative article was developed with the support of the Project “Strengthening civil society capacities in the field of open data use", implemented by the United Nations Development Program and financed by the SlovakAid Transition Knowledge and Experience Transfer Program of the Slovak Republic. All opinions belong to the authors/author and do not reflect the official position of UNDP Moldova, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, the Government of the Slovak Republic or their affiliates.
Investigations in the same category:
● The main beneficiary of the cryptocurrency business in the breakaway region of Transnistria is the Sheriff holding and a former employee of the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation. ● The equipment was purchased through a bank involved in the theft of the billion. ● The actors and companies involved have businesses in the energy sector, telecommunication, internet in Crimea and in the Western countries in Europe. Tehnopark company is located in the Business Center "Rossia", one of the most modern buildings in Tiraspol, the main city of the breakaway region of Transnistria, in contrast to the grey of Soviet architecture. This is a
Vlad of Arabia: properties, interests and connections in the Middle East
● The leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova Vlad Plahotniuc reported for the first time a series of business and interests in the Middle East. ● Moldova has strengthened its relations with the countries of this region in recent years. ● One of the intermediaries is the Trans-Oil patron, Vaja Jhashi, who advised several government structures in the Middle East. ● The United Arab Emirates has been a destination for money leaks from the "Russian Laundromat" affair, as well as the "grand theft" of the billion US dollars from the Moldovan banking system. The leader of the Democratic Party, Vlad Plahotniuc, is
European funded roads rehabilitated with significant delays
Four out of 13 companies, that have been shortlisted in international tenders over the last five years in order to rehabilitate the national roads of the Republic of Moldova, have been sanctioned for delays in the execution of the works. All fined companies are international and the amount of fines exceeds EUR 3.8 million. The four companies that were sanctioned for delays in the execution of the works were contracted during 2011-2014 for repairing several areas on national the routes Chisinau - Soroca, Chisinau - Comrat - Giurgiulesti, Chisinau - Ungheni - Sculeni and for the construction of Ungheni bypass
Till the first earthquake happens
It's usually said about houses and building, constructed in the Republic of Moldova after 1991, they will resist before the first earthquake will happen. This is an emotional evaluation of things. And two earthquakes with a moderate magnitude that happened in September and December of 2016 proved it. What's the actual situation in the construction sphere? And, is there a possibility for a total damage to happen to a person and his property, because of builders or officials’ fault? Features in Moldavian constructions “When I was a student, my professors used to tell me: “There is an unique environment in
How several presidential candidates pocketed electoral money
The campaign for 2016 presidential elections with a budget worth almost 60 million lei has been one of the most expensive in Moldova so far. The money collected from thousands of sponsors: students, pensioners or unemployed, prosperous businessmen reached the accounts of some companies that manage TV channels. The main beneficiary of the electoral campaign held this autumn fall is the first deputy-chairman of the Democratic Party, owner of 4 TV channels. Most of the contenders aired election ads on these TV channels. About 40 per cent of electoral funds of the 12 candidates were paid to the accounts
Ukraine-Moldova-Transnistria: golden triangle of smuggling
Almost every month, law enforcement officers of Ukraine report about delaying of alcohol and cigarettes smuggling from Moldova. However, in Ukraine the quantity of smuggled goods does not become less–“Privoz” in Odessa, which is one of the oldest and largest existing markets in Europe, is crowded with contraband cigarettes. They sell it without checks and excise duties are questionable. Internet is full of proposals of Moldovan cigaretteswholesale. However, official data indicates that for more than two years Moldovacigarettesare not imported to Ukraine. However, traders are ready to sell illegal goodsby blocks, which prove the magnitude of the supply of
The grain market in Moldova, under the Russian monopoly
The wheat harvest this year was plenteous, with an average quantity of 3.4 tons per hectare. Nevertheless, the small producers will not benefit of this situation, because they are compelled to sell their grains to a derisory price. The only beneficiary is Trans-Oil, a holding consisting in a series of off-shores registered in Switzerland and Cyprus and joint-stock companies form Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. The company is controlled by the Russian citizen Vazha Dzashi, who was born in Georgia (USSR), holds an American passport and hi is member of the Council of Administration of the Moldovan Businessman Association. Trans-Oil, a
New Airline Fly One and Private Interests of the Civil Aviation Authority Director, Confirmed by ISS
Mircea Maleca, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is allegedly the real business partner of the family of Ministry of Justice Vladimir Cebotari in the new airline company Fly One. The official is hiding behind his former father- in-law from Leova. This is confirmed by a letter signed by Mihai Balan, Director of the Information and Security Service (ISS), that recently came into possession of portal Anticoruptie.md. Although its authenticity is not confirmed, ISS heads claim in an official response that the CAA managers abuse power by promoting private interests in civil aviation, which would be contrary to
Energy (in)dependence of Ukraine and Moldova: After association with the EU
The desire to join the European Union, voiced by Ukraine and Moldova, set the agenda of the authorities, including the issue of the system of purchase and supply of natural gas. Nevertheless, the assessment of the situation to date, carried out by a group of journalists from Moldova and Ukraine, shows that the market of gas in both countries still has some problems, and carries the risk of corruption. Embezzlement of public funds, key intermediary firms of dubious reputation, monopoly - these are the main features of the gas market in the two post-Soviet countries. "Moldova to Russia’s pocket". How it
New Airline in the Pocket of the Minister of Justice
A new airline will operate in Moldova as of May 2016 and will transport passengers to several European cities. The company was registered last autumn and has as founders Maria Cebotari, wife of the current Minister of Justice, Vladimir Cebotari, while his sister, Mariana Tabuica, would be the new executive director. The Minister confirmed that his family started a new business and it's just a way to earn a living. "Just like any citizen of this country, I cope with problems", says the official who gets a monthly income from ministerial activity of about 16,000 lei. Initially, Fly One promises flights
False Flags of Moldova: Azerbaijan-Netherland’s Track
The story of Giurgiulești port, „the incubator” of Moldavian flag for ships business, begins with an extremely onerous business involving the communists led by former president Vladimir Voronin, Azerbaijan businessmen and companies, Swiss credit companies, other companies registered in the Netherlands, as well as a BERD former employee that later became one of the business heads. One of the constant players that are to be described later on is the business man, Thomas Mosser. The story of the Romanian port of Giurgiulești began in 1993 when Andrei Sangheli, Moldavian former prime minister intended to build a port right in the
"Platonic" Ukrainians’ businesses in Chisinau
Oleksandr Pinchuk, a Ukrainian national and a former head of the National Bureau of Motor Vehicle Insurers of the Republic of Moldova, has been on the wanted list of the Moldovan authorities for almost a year by now. He became a key person of interest for the National Anticorruption Centre and the Anticorruption Prosecution Office when the Bureau suffered 30 million leu damages. However, Pinchuk, who is also a successful lawyer from Ukraine, goes to work every day, meets his partners and participates in public life of the neighboring state without any problems. We have found him and even talked
Audit with interests? Who owns the companies selected by the Ministry of Finance to carry out financial controls at state enterprises?
The government has recently approved a list of 37 audit companies, filled by the Ministry of Finance, that will audit the financial statements of state enterprises or companies in which the state share exceeds 50 percent of the social capital. One of the companies approved to make checks in 2015 is that of Ion Prisacaru, head of the State Tax Inspectorate (STI) and other companies related to former employees of Finance Ministry. The National Anti-Corruption Center (CNA) conducted a survey on the corruptibility of the draft decision of the Government in March and warned about situations of conflicts of
Off-SHOR Airport via Russia (II)
To ensure incomes estimated at over one billion Euros to the company „Avia Invest”, managed by the current mayor of Orhei Ilan Shor, the main suspect in the case on the theft of billion from the financial-banking system of the Republic of Moldova, the Government does not want to annul an airport fee which the National Anticorruption Center (CNA) reported that it was perceived illegally. From the central rostrum of Parliament, the CNA director suggests that money stolen from BEM is laundered at the Airport, but the officials from the Center who investigate the case wait for answers from Russia.
Off-SHOR Airport via Russia
Chisinau International Airport (AIC) lease is one of the most controversial "businesses" concluded by the Government of the Republic of Moldova in recent years. Although 5 European companies with experience in airport activity were invited to participate in the contest, the competition commission chose an anonymous company, founded by an airport in Russia and a Russian factory of locomotives production, which ceded the "business" to an off-shore. Today, investments in Airport modernization are made mostly based on money from the activity of AIC transferred to the accounts of companies close to Ilan Shor. „Business” AIC - An opaque contest, won by
The confidential report of the Commission of Minister Cebotari and Airport leasing
President of the Commission on assessing the Chisinau International Airport leasing agreement, Minister of Justice Vladimir Cebotari admitted that "Avia Invest" has not fulfilled some of the provisions stipulated by the agreement, but he argues that there are no grounds for terminating the agreement. Termination was recommended by the National Anti-Corruption Center, after they had identified some irregularities about set investments and after certain revenues of the airport would have arrived at the football club of mayor in Orhei, Ilan Sor. Ex-Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet claims that the first part of the Report shows grounds for termination and the
Companies of Iurcu’s friends continue to win contracts with Moldtelecom
Companies affiliated to Vitalie Iurcu, currently Deputy Minister of Economy and ex-director of Moldtelecom, continue to be key procurement partners of the joint venture owned by the state, even after he left the company. Recently, just through one invoice, to the firm’s accounts established by Iurcu’s friends, were transferred 700,000 lei. Previously, we demonstrated how several companies belonging to friends or business partnersof VitalieIurcu, then director of Moldelecom, obtained multi-million contracts with this joint stock company owned by the state. The information is now confirmed by recent acts, which came into our possession, demonstrating that Moldtelecom continues to buy from
The stories from www.anticoruptie.md may be used in the limit of up to 1,000 characters. Web pages must indicate the source and link directly to the article. Print media, Radio and TV stations must indicate the source. Publishing full version of stories is allowed based on a prior agreement with the Center for Investigative Journalism. Articles published on www.anticoruptie.md are protected by the Law on copyright and related rights of Republic of Moldova.