Staunton, Dec. 20 – Russia’s transportation infrastructure outside of Moscow is inadequate, aging, and underfinanced, and as a result of these shortcomings is having a negative impact on the country’s economic and demographic development, according to the Accounting Chamber.
The Chamber devotes the current issue of its monthly analytic publication to the transportation network in the Volga Federal District, but experts say that its findings apply to Russia as a whole (ach.gov.ru/statements/bulletin-sp-12-2022 and profile.ru/economy/doroga-na-vostok-schetnaya-palata-ocenila-transportnuju-infrastrukturu-regionov-1226827/).
The situation is dire. According to the study, what transportation infrastructure there is limited, worn out and not being repaired, shortcomings that are having a negative impact on the development of passenger and freight traffic, the quality of life of the population, and the development of industry and even international trade.
Only two percent of the roads in Samara Oblast can handle trucks carrying 11.5 tons of cargo. In most of the regions in the federal district, villages and other rural settlements are not connected with district centers by paved roads. In 41 percent of them, there is no public transport available; and where there is, travel times are greater than two hours in 21 percent of the cases.
The situation with regard to railways is somewhat better, but they do not extend to many places. And the situation concerning waterways is if anything worse with the silting up of even major rivers leading to annual declines in the amount of freight carried by them of 20 percent or more.
There isn’t enough money being devoted to the repair of existing connections let alone the building of new ones. As a result, flight from rural areas is accelerating; and trade faces numerous transportation bottlenecks. But as of now, the Accounting Chamber says, neither Moscow nor the regional governments are making the correction of all this a priority.