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Two senior officials of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy admitted on Monday at a hearing in the Law Commission that they did not know when the Murriz tunnel - the most important work of the Arbri road - would be completed, although the concession contract ended on 20 September.
Deputy Minister Enkelejda Muçaj and the director of the Albanian Road Authority, Evis Berberi, also avoided the question of what will happen next with the concession contract.
"Asphalting is being finished for all road segments, with the exception of the Murriz tunnel," said the head of ARRSH, Evis Berberi while adding: "the moment we see light at the end of it, we will give them a date of exactly when it ends".
According to Berberi, the non-completion of the works is related to geological problems.
MP Çupi insisted on getting an answer from the deputy minister, asking her if; "the concession contract for the road was extended again, when will this road be completed and who will carry out the works after the end of the contract".
But Muçaj, instead of a concrete answer, invited the MP to the office to give him this information.
"Regarding Ruga e Arbri and the contract, I would like to set up an official meeting with you to officially inform you with detailed information about where the problem is," she said to the commission, an invitation that was considered strange by Çupi.
"I asked you a public question and I want the information publicly, not in the office," she told him, but did not receive a new answer from the ministry official.
The Arbri road contract was expected to be delivered in April 2022, but the government decided to postpone this contract for another 17 months, a deadline that ended on September 20 of this year.
The construction of this road has cost Albanian taxpayers about 40 billion lek [330 million euros], a cost which ministry officials insisted will not change despite the postponement of its delivery deadline.
The technical project for the Murriz tunnel and the road delivery deadline were changed as early as 2020, but they were kept hidden from the public for almost 2 years.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Edi Rama used the investment in this road for electoral campaigns in the Dibra area since 2013. Despite the problems in some segments, the road is functional through the bypass of the Murrizi Pass, at an altitude of over 1000 meters, where it is mostly difficult to pass in winter./ BIRN