First Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure and Chairman of Roads Department conducted a special briefing. Irakli Karseladze refused information spread by the broadcasting company Rustavi 2 in the report on July 28 regarding allocation and expenditure of budgetary funds for tree transportation to dendrological park. He accused the TV company of biased coverage of the event and declared that position of the Department was not presented in the report.
“Apparently, even one GEL has not been spent from the state budget to arrange any of roads designed for transportation of trees and we didn’t offer any benefits for Bidzina Ivanishvili. Roads Department acts in compliance with the legislation and only cooperates with companies identified from the bidding. We do not participate in any of private projects nor in transportation of trees as well as restoration of infrastructure damaged due to this process. In relation to provision of assistance with heavy equipment in the process of tree transportation, neither the Ministry nor the Department owns such type of equipment, projects are being carried out by resources of private companies and, obviously, it cannot be used for other purposes” – mentioned Irakli Karseladze.
At the briefing, Chairman of Roads Department discussed several projects in detail, which were carried out to promote tree transportation process according to political opponents and part of the media. Irakli Karseladze explained that the Department carries out projects according to plans and each project has its purpose.
“There is endless talk about tunnel bypass road, as if it was arranged for transportation of trees. This road is still under construction, therefore, transportation of anything is not possible there. This is a 1-km section. This road will allow vehicles moving toward Tbilisi to turn around and avoid dangerous situations. The only function of the road is to allow vehicles turning around. Moreover, traffic of high capacity vehicles on top of the tunnel is impossible.
Regarding Zeniti road, it was repaired in 2016, however, it was damaged in October 2017 due to natural disaster. Therefore, this road was considered in rehabilitation plan, which includes slope protection works and repair of asphalt concrete pavement. This road has nothing in common with tree transportation” – declared Irakli Karseladze.
In addition, according to him, Ochkhamuri road has nothing to do with tree transportation, it is a planned project and envisages to expand some areas and arrangement of asphalt concrete.