Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Initiative is an effective tool for monitoring the quality of road works, - Volodymyr Omelyan
Volodymyr Omelyan, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, highlighted the positive effect of CoST Initiative during the presentation of the first verification report of CoST Ukraine Initiative "STATE ROADS REPARATION 2016" project. Slavomir Nowak, a CEO of Ukravtodor, Natalia Forsuk, a Director of the CoST National Secretariat, Peter Matthews, an Executive Director of the CoST International Secretariat (United Kingdom), Viktor Nestulya, a Director of the Programme for innovative projects at Transparency International Ukraine, and Vitaliy Hrusevych, a CEO of the Confederation of builders of Ukraine, attended the presentation.
The Minister stressed that Ukraine needs not only a systematic approach to the development of the road sector and complex road repair, but also implementation of international systems of road works quality control. "CoST Initiative was supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine in 2015. Today we enjoy a fruitful and constructive cooperation," Volodymyr Omelyan said.
The Minister also noted that the adoption of the Road Fund will contribute to development of the road economy of Ukraine. "It is very important that the Road Fund was adopted this year. I was very pleased to hear the words of the President of Ukraine and leaders of the factions that they are ready to increase funding for reparation of Ukrainian roads in 2017. Together with the new head of Ukravtodor, Mr. Slavomir Nowak, we will have a systemic vision, systemic approach, and systemic implementation of Ukrainian roads repairs, as well as will build new roads. Along with the World Bank, we have already developed the Ukrainian transport road network strategy for the next three years."
Volodymyr Omelyan also emphasized that the key challenge for Ukraine in 2017 will be development of border infrastructure. "I believe that we will develop transport infrastructure so that people could easily, quickly and comfortably cross the border, and facilitate the cross-border business activity too."
The Minister stressed that the Ministry welcomes the results of the CoST analysis and expects proposals for deficiencies in road works. "Today, CoST presents its analysis. We are ready for criticism. We assessed the barriers. Now, it is very important for us to find viable solutions."
Volodymyr Omelyan also said that today, he will sign the Ministerial Direction on the list of pilot projects in order to test CoST standards on Ukrainian roads. "There will be eight pilot projects. I hope that we will receive the same independent, high-quality and helpful analysis, as we did this year."
The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine stressed that Ukraine needs to adopt European standards in the area of roads repair and construction. "First of all, the industry’s dated standards and requirements must be changed. Secondly, free competition in the road works market must be ensured. We do believe that we will be able to increase the quality of Ukrainian roads significantly. We will face a huge challenge next year, the decentralization and transfer of 120 thousand kilometers of roads to the municipal level, to responsibility of local communities, and preservation under the state of 50 thousand kilometers of roads that require repairing."
Volodymyr Omelyan separately mentioned about the deliverables of the road works in 2016. "We have to do a lot. Over a thousand kilometers of roads have been repaired, passages on over 10 thousand kilometers of roads have been restored. This year, road repairs and construction have taken place in every region, city, village. It is very pleasing that there is an understanding that these roads must be integrated into the national and international road system. I am positive of this trend, and with proper assistance of the Road Fund, we will be able to forget about bad roads in a few years."