Complaint on North-South Corridor (Kvesheti-Kobi) Road Project B Kvesheti Kobi Higway Project
- Complainants : Green Alternative
- International Financial Institution: ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
- Case name : Georgia: North-South Corridor (Kvesheti-Kobi) Road Project B Kvesheti Kobi Higway Project
- Project developer: Roads Department of Georgia
- Case Number : 2021/1
The project plans to construct about 23 kilometers (km) of climate-resilient two-lane highway between Kvesheti and Kobi (the project road) and about 5 km of all-weather access roads, as well as to increase the road safety and establish a visitor center in the Khada Valley to support tourism activities; The project expands efforts of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other development partners to upgrade the country’s national highway network along key economic corridors.
local communities have been vocal when asking to find out the ways that would avoid the destruction of the Khada valley, its landscape and cultural heritage, that directly threatens the livelihood of the people. However, the project proponent never provides clear arguments for the final selection road route, including the provision of alternatives. Opposing the claim that the major selection criteria’s for the alternatives were the geo-engineering assessment, neither the ESIA, nor any other documents published later, do not contain the full pledge analysis of the alternatives and reasons for their rejection, including the essential constructible alternative (a single tunnel from Kvesheti to Kobi, estimated length 15.5 km, versus 9 km tunnel proposed in the project), as well as “No-project” alternative essentially not considered and discarded outright.
Green Alternative requested from ADB CRP to start the compliance review process, in order to ensure that the 23-kilometer Kvesheti-Kobi road project, a new section of the North-South Corridor, would be in compliance with the ADB’s environmental and social standards and minimize the impacts of the project, that is on the early stage of construction. The project causes implicit danger to the unique valley, well known as the valley of 60 towers, without proper safeguarding and mitigating impacts on cultural heritage and landscape, people’s economic and social life, not bringing any traceable benefits for local communities.