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Ukraine loses up to 4% of GDP, or about 50 billion hryvnia, annually due to poor road conditions, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said during the Cabinet’s meeting, ForUm correspondent reports.
"Quality roads and infrastructure in general is a necessary support for the economic development program, which now is a priority of the government. According to expert estimates, due to the unsatisfactory state of roads, Ukraine loses annually up to 4% of GDP, and this is almost UAH 50 billion Although the direct losses are smaller, this figure is unacceptable for a country, which focuses all possible resources on development," he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the government clearly understands that Ukraine needs roads, which will surely operate for decades, not from season to season.
"We are not rich enough to build temporary roads. The only way is to radically modernize 170 thousand km of roads," he noted.
Azarov also reminded that Ukraine is an important transport corridor between east and west, north and south.
"Over the years of independence the traffic has increased considerably. Moreover, extreme winter conditions and the lack of repairs last year led to great destructions. This year, 43 thousand km of roads have been damaged, and this is the one fourth of the entire roads in Ukraine. The area of destruction makes up 2.7 million square meters. As of today, 540 thousand square meters at 12 thousand kilometers of public roads were repaired. 300-500 groups of workers and 40 asphalt plants work daily, depending on the weather conditions," the Prime Minister said.
According to him, the roads of the municipal property and streets shall be repaired by the local authorities.
Azarov instructed vice Prime Minister Oleksandr Vilkul to accelerate drafting of a long-term program for the construction of roads, with clear priorities, stages, the current requirements for the class and quality of roads and the calculations of resource support for such construction.
Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Yuri Boiko together with industrial policy minister Mykhailo Korolenko and infrastructure minister Volodymyr Kozak have been instructed to start working out emergency measures and long-term program of production of high-quality bitumen and other necessary materials at domestic plants.