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Old Trains of Saakashvili Are Burden for the Population of Buffer Zone

06.07.2009
Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

Residents of Shida Kartli region are reproached with cheap trains. Some time ago, the government publicly announced the appointment of a “new” train in the direction of Shida Kartli region at the Borjomi Railway Station in Tbilisi.

“The new trains” have gone wrong during the traveling for the last two days.

On July 1, the train, which left Borjomi Railway Station for Nikozi village in former buffer zone, initially stopped in Mtskheta and then in Kaspi. The over-crowded train first had problems with so called tugs and could not continue the way after Mtskheta. Locomotive driver waited for a while and then decided to move on at a low speed. At such a speed they reached Kaspi late but there the train finally went wrong and could not move on.

Passengers, who had money on them, took mini-bus from Kaspi to Gori. Of course, there was argument between train-attendants and passengers; the passengers demanded 1 GEL back they had paid as transportation fee. However, nobody returned the money to them.

Meanwhile, the head of Control Office of the Kaspi Railway Station informed Tbilisi office that the train was out of order and demanded a new train instead. Alternative electric train arrived in Kaspi at 10:30 pm. Tens of passengers moved to another train together with their luggage. The new train arrived in Gori very late because it had to give a way to the trains running from Tbilisi to the West Georgia.

Tbilisi-Nikozi train left Kaspi Station at exactly mid-night. The residents of the villages of Nikozi, Shindisi, Kheiti, Ortasheni and former buffer zone arrived in Gori at 1:30 am. It took another 2 hours for the train to reach Nikozi from Gori because the rails are out-of-order on this part of the railway and train cannot move at high speed.

Of course, the train which arrived at the final destination late, started for Tbilisi late too and on July 2 Nikozi-Tbilisi arrived in the capital at 12:00 pm instead scheduled 9:00 am.

The same happened on July 2. Passengers say the train again went wrong in Mtskheta. Furthermore, the train could not continue the way from Mtskheta unlike the previous day. Passengers, who were aware of train equipment, tried to open a tug-apparatus to find out what was wrong with it.

Head of Mtskheta Railway Station could not calm down the population; he said it was not his fault that damaged train was sent from the capital. Since Mtskheta is close to Tbilisi the alternative train arrived soon. However, people had to wait for the start-off for one hour because they had to give a way to the express-trains traveling towards the west Georgia. People suggest the government to stop painting old trains and to purchase really new ones.

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