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At the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia held on 20 November 2013, Majoritarian Deputy of the Kareli Municipality, Leri Khabelovi, stated that in the nine years of being in power, the United National Movement did not implement as many infrastructural projects in the Kareli Municipality as the Georgian Dream did after taking office.

FactCheck

set out to check the accuracy of the allegations put forward by Leri Khabelovi.

When approached by our Parliamentary correspondent, inquiring about the specific projects to which the MP was referring, Leri Khabelovi responded that the reconstruction work for the eight kilometre-long Kareli-Agara road were underway. As reported by the deputy, the 2013 state budget also foresaw the rehabilitation of the 3.5 kilometre-long Kintsvisi-Agara road, the provision of the village of Khvedureti with drinking water and the implementation of the Kareli Theatre rehabilitation project. According to the MP, similar projects had not been implemented during the time in government of the United National Movement.

Aiming to shed more light on the matter, FactCheck

addressed the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. As informed by the Ministry, on 13 March 2012 a tender was opened for construction work on the 19 kilometre-long road between Ruisi and Agara (this road includes the eight kilometre section connecting Kareli and Agara) with the work beginning in the autumn of 2012. Pursuant to the contract terms, the work is to be completed by the end of 2014 and its total cost amounts to GEL 70.8 million. The project is implemented by the Chinese company, China Nuclear 23 Construction Co., Ltd.

The information received by the Ministry also clarifies that on 13 July 2013, the tender was opened for the rehabilitation work of the 3.5 kilometre-long section of the road connecting Kareli with the Kintsvisi Monastery with the rehabilitation activities having started on 2 October. According to the provisions of the contract, the work is to be completed by 15 January 2014 but owing to freezing and heavy snow, the process has been temporarily suspended. This circumstance has also been noted by Leri Khabelovi in the conversation with our correspondent.

FactCheck also contacted the gamgeoba

of the Kareli Municipality. According to the information received, no theatre can be found on the territory of the Kareli Municipality and the reconstruction work is planned for the House of Culture (in all likelihood, the MP was referring to the House of Culture when he mentioned the theatre). As for the project supplying drinking water to the village of Khvedureti, this undertaking is indeed foreseen in the budget. A total of GEL 464,999 thousand is earmarked for the purpose and currently a tender is in process.

Aside from the abovementioned, as we were told at the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, in 2013 the following infrastructural projects in Kareli had been financed from the fund for regional projects:

  • Asphalting of the streets in Kareli – GEL 1,516,210 million
  • Rehabilitation of the Kareli House of Culture – GEL 1,096,650 million
  • Fortification of the riverbed of the DzamaRiver – GEL 429,590 thousand

We also inquired about the state of affairs in Kareli in terms of infrastructural projects in the period 2003-2012. The information provided by the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure also clarifies that the following infrastructural projects had been implemented with state funding in the Kareli Municipality over the period 2003-2012:

  • Regular maintenance of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road. 109km-110km and 113km-114km – 2005
  • Rehabilitation work for the bridge over the MtkvariRiver on the third kilometre of the road leading to the town of Kareli – 2006
  • Restoration (regular maintenance) of the damaged section of the Kareli-Kintsvisi road km5-km10
  • Restoration of the damaged sections on the Gori-Tskhinvali-Java-Roki road km4, Variani-Sakasheti-Breti-Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road km102 (Kareli overpass) km7-km25.3 – 2008
FactCheck

contacted the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia as well. As reported by the Fund, in total two projects have been financed by the Municipal Development Fund in the Kareli Municipality over the period 2003-2012:

  • Reconstruction work of houses #1 and #2 of the IDP settlement in Agara and #1-#5 cottages in the village of Doghlauri – contractor company Archstudia Peristyle Ltd. Start – 09.03.2009, completion – 09.05.2009.
  • Repair-construction work of administrative buildings in Ruisi – contractor company RTG Ltd. Start -17.10.2011, completion – 30.11.2011.

Conclusion Our research about the accuracy of Leri Khabelovi’s statement revealed that infrastructural projects were actually being implemented over the period 2003-2012 and the MP’s allegation stating that no such activities were performed in the municipality in the given period are fairly exaggerated. Moreover, the pathos conveyed by the MP on the subject of construction activities on the Kareli-Agara road is also misleading as the work on this project had started during the period of the United National Movement government. It is still to be noted, however, that since 2013 more large-scale projects are indeed being implemented in Kareli which were not witnessed in the previous years. Consequently, we conclude that Leri Khabelovi’s statement:  “In its nine years of being in power, the United National Movement did not accomplish as many [infrastructural projects] in the KareliMunicipality as we did in one year,” is HALF TRUE.