Politics

WB reveals requirements for new road project in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani government is preparing permission to sign a loan agreement with the World Bank (WB) for the Regional connectivity and development project, Report informs referring to the WB.

Negotiations on the project were held in mid-April 2021, and on May 20, 2021, the bank’s Board of Directors approved a loan for $65 million. The total value of the project is $95.88 million.

“Currently, the government is processing the package to issue the authorization to sign the legal documents, in accordance with the Government Guidelines,” the WB said.

Contractors will be mandated to prepare and implement approved Covid-19 protocols. This requirement will be included in the bidding document and the contract(s) for the Works contracts, according to the WB report.

Contractors will also be mandated to engage local staff where possible. This requirement will be included in the bidding document and the contract(s) for the Works contracts. This indicator captures the efficacy of the project in promoting local participation.

Climate resilience is incorporated in the design of the road and associated structures and is realized as they are built. These measures included increased flow capacity of bridges and culverts and raising the vertical alignment of the road.

The primary risks for the project road (Salyan-Bilasuvar) are associated with higher and more extreme temperatures leading to changes in precipitation patterns. In the project region, the projected increases in precipitation and sudden snowmelt in the mountains is likely to exacerbate flood risk, which is already occurring, reads the WB report.

According to the study, there is an estimated 10 percent chance of potentially damaging earthquakes in the project area in the next 50 years:

“It is estimated that there is a 50 percent chance of weather that could support wildfires in the project area, and climate projections indicate a likely increase in the severity of a fire, although the consequences of fire on connectivity is likely to be of short duration with low damage impact on the roads,” the documents read.

The WB proposes to develop models for collecting tolls from road users.

A grievance redress mechanism will be established for the project. The logbook of grievances will be regularly updated in terms of the status of grievances.

The project aims to provide safe, efficient, and climate-resilient transport connectivity and improve market accessibility along the Salyan-Bilasuvar road corridor. About 250,000 people living along this route will have access to updated road infrastructure and improved economic opportunities.

The project will finance three key areas. First, investment in roads and supporting agricultural and logistics infrastructure will help maintain market accessibility, and therefore maximize the impact of upgraded roads on socio-economic development.

Second, the project will support financial sustainability and efficiency in the road sector through technical assistance in developing road network management systems and exploring options for introducing user charges and avoiding vehicle overloads.

Third, the project will support the design and organization of roadside logistics and market facilities, as well as training local entrepreneurs to improve income opportunities for local communities.

Azerbaijan joined the World Bank in 1992. Since then, the WB has funded more than 50 projects totaling $4.4 billion.

Report

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