Projects of the comprehensive infrastructure development plan are based on the principle of maximum efficiency

12 november 2018 | Vedomosti

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave instructions to include the Chelyabinsk-Yekaterinburg high speed railway in the comprehensive infrastructure development plan, meaning that now the project can get federal funding, the Vedomosti writes.

Tatiana Gorovaya
Tatiana Gorovaya
Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting

Initially, the draft plan for the development of the transport infrastructure had 2 high speed railways: one between Moscow and Kazan and the other between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, but only the high speed railway between Moscow and Kazan was included into the final version of the plan. According to a conclusion of the Analytical Center, the expected socio-economic development effects of the high speed railway between Moscow and Kazan are more significant than those for the Yekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk line. The Urals railway of 209 km was compared with all the high speed sections between Moscow and Kazan (a total of 770 km), but only the section between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod made it into the final plan, with a new railway to be constructed between Zheleznodorozhny and Gorokhovets and that is about 300 km long.

The activities to be included in the comprehensive plan for the modernization and expansion of the transport infrastructure must go through a selection process to identify projects that are most effective and produce the maximum contribution to the economic development of Russia and help achieve the goals of Directive No. 204 of the President of the Russian Federation dated May 7, 2018 "Concerning the national goals and strategic objectives of the development of the Russian Federation until 2024", Tatiana Gorovaya, Head of the Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting of the Analytical Center, explained to the newspaper. "Other aspects that are taken into consideration include the cost of these projects and the current budgetary constraints on financing the construction of major highways," she pointed out.

"The project to build the Chelyabinsk-Yekaterinburg high speed railway did go through the aforementioned selection process and the analysis that was carried out then partially confirmed the preliminary estimates for the effectiveness of the project," Ms. Gorovaya said. "Furthermore, the development of high speed rail can make a significant contribution to the economic development of Russia and is also one of the goals stipulated in the Presidential Directive. However, given comparable funding from the federal budget that the two high speed rail projects require, the expected socio-economic effects of the line between Moscow and Kazan at this stage were found to be several times greater than those for the line between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg. Thus, the Chelyabinsk-Yekaterinburg high speed railway was not included in the comprehensive plan."

The comprehensive plan is based on the principles of maximum efficiency and the investment projects included in it can change over time as new information becomes available about new more efficient projects or when new estimates for the socio-economic effects of projects that were reviewed earlier turn out to be greater than initially thought.

At the same time, the Chelyabinsk-Yekaterinburg high speed rail line has already been included in the Russian Railways' long term development program until 2025 as a railway infrastructure development project being implemented by outside investors with no funding provided by Russian Railways. In accordance with Resolution No 21010-r of the Government of the Russian Federation dated September 30, 2018, a procedure is being developed for submitting amendments to the comprehensive plan, which prescribes the inclusion into the plan of infrastructure facilities which construction or innovation are included in the investment plans of natural monopolies.

Source: Vedomosti

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