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EghtesadOnline: Fifteen years have passed since the launch of Tehran-Qom-Isfahan high-speed railroad construction, but its progress currently stands at 5%.

Since financial resources are scarce, authorities have proposed that Tehran should be omitted from the project.

This is while the main reason behind the implementation of the project was to connect the two strategic cities of Isfahan and Qom to the capital and cut travel time between Isfahan and Tehran by one-third, the Persian daily Jahan-e Sanat reported.

The project is financed by the Chinese contractor who was to invest ¥15.3 billion ($2.3 billion) in the railroad that was initially slated for completion within five years. Since the fiscal 2016-17 up until this year, the Chinese side has met around ¥2.02 billion ($317 million) of the sum. 

Plans are for the figure to reach ¥15.3 billion by the fiscal 2024-25.

The Iranian Economic Council has announced that the repayment of the finance will continue through the fiscal 2029-30, by which time a total of ¥21.88 billion ($3.42 billion) will have been repaid to investors.

Iran has signed a contract with China Railway Group Limited, also known as CREC, to launch this railroad project. 

Although the contract was signed in 2015 with an estimated value of €1.8 billion, its scope and value underwent changes.

CREC is a Chinese construction company listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. The major shareholder of the company is the state-owned China Railway Engineering Corporation.

By revenue, CREC was the largest construction company in the world in the 2015 Engineering News-Record "Top 225 Global Contractors".

Tehran-Qom-Isfahan high-speed railroad was designed in two sections, the first being the 165-kilometer-long Tehran-Qom and the second 245-km Qom-Isfahan routes.

The goal was for the railroad to carry passengers, using 22 sets of trains each with eight wagons, at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour from Tehran to Isfahan, and back. 

It was estimated that this rail route would have the capacity to transport around 16 million passengers per year.

On Oct. 31, Masoud Mirkazemi, the head of Plan and Budget Organization, said the Iranian Economic Council has approved a directive noting that due to mismanagement, financial shortcomings and wasted resources over the years, Tehran will be omitted from the project and that the completion of Qom-Isfahan railroad should meet the 2024-25 deadline.

Mohammad Javad Shahjouyi, an economic analyst, says leaving out the Iranian capital from this project is unjustified, since it will not be able to deliver any of the objectives it was meant to in the first place.

“The solution could have been as easy as founding a public corporation where the financial resources would be supplied by the public, instead of cutting out Iran’s most important city from the project,” Fars News Agency quoted Shahjouyi as saying.

 

Tehran Isfahan