Gjiknuri: The train will go through the city of Tirana

Gjiknuri: The train will go through the city of Tirana
The train will go through the city of Tirana. This was declared yesterday by the minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Damian Gjiknuri, who considered it as the first serious railway investment in the country. “One of the priority projects is the one with EBRD for the construction of a modern railway network linking Tirana to Durres and Rinas. But, we are also holding talks with the Municipality of Tirana to make an internal connection of the railway network, turning it into an internal network of transport for a part of Tirana”, the minister declared in front of MPs of the Parliamentary Committee for Production Activities. Meanwhile, according to minister Gjiknuri, the railway sector is a domain which hasn’t seen much progress in Albania. In the meantime, for more details about this project, Albanian Free Press has spoken to the minister’s advisor, Dardan Malaj, who said that the project is still in the phase of the feasibility study. Malaj also said that the extension of the railway line for Tirana will be made based on the old line, with a few minor changes.  

“The area will be more or less the same as the old one”, he added. Meanwhile, it is understood that the feasibility study for this railway line is being handled by the same experts who did the feasibility study for the Tirana-Durres-Rinas railway line. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has allocated a 36.8 million euro fund for the construction of this line. The project is expected to start soon, while its completion is expected to occur in three years time. On the other hand, asked by Albanian Free Press, employees of the ministry of Infrastructure who have worked there during the time the previous government was in office, say that the line which would include Tirana as part of the railway, would go through the old line. “If a new line is built, the cost will be high and there will be a need for expropriations. The best option is to build this line in the existing railway line, to avoid expropriations and extra costs”, they said. According to them, if this line is followed, a large part of the capital will benefit from it.

Vice mayor of Tirana, Arbjan Mazniku offers his insights for Albanian Free Press

“We have offered our proposals about the connection of the railway line with the city”

“We have offered our proposals about the connection of the railway line with the city”. This was the explanation provided by the vice mayor of Tirana, Arbjan Mazniku to Albanian Free Press regarding the talks that this institution is holding about the railway network which will also include the capital. However, according to him, it’s the ministry of Energy and Infrastructure the one who has all the information concerning such project. Meanwhile, official sources from the Municipality of Tirana say that they’re looking into the possibility of building a train station near the New Boulevard, where trains will only stop and will not gather there. In fact, this has also been said by the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj.

PM Rama: Albanian road network has no security standards

The Prime Minister of the country has confirmed it: The country’s road network has no security standards! “Today, despite the expenses that have been made, we don’t even have one national road which can be certified according to European security standards”, Rama said during a meeting with representatives of business. According to Rama, all roads have zero security standards. “The amount of money that has been spent in the national road network is considerable. Unfortunately, if we evaluate the amount of money spent throughout the years and the end product that we have, it’s truly disappointing”, he said. According to Rama, there’s been a lack of adequate planning, adequate projects, contracts and supervision. “And in the end, the product has a poor quality”, Rama said. The head of the government has also declared that the ambition of the second cabinet that he chairs is: “In these four years, our roads should become safe and the lives of people should no longer be threatened by the poor quality of infrastructure”. “The accidents caused by road users and other problems are an entirely different story. All the countries of the world encounter such problems”, Rama added. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also said that next year, the budget for infrastructure will be 42% higher. According to him, this budget is more than adequate.  As far as the 10 most important road segments which will be funded by the state budget next year, are concerned, Rama mentioned the Great Ring Road of Tirana and the bypass of Tepelena, which is a very important segment.

“We will start construction works for the road segment linking Korça to Erseka and we will also solve the gridlock with the bypass of Fier and Vlora”, the head of the government concluded.

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