Promised and delayed projects in Zugdidi and Senaki
On the basis of open sources and by requesting public information in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region, TI Georgia has conducted monitoring of the implementation of large infrastructure projects which were planned in the past five years.
Football stadium of Zugdidi
Despite numerous promises made, Zugdidi still does not have a football stadium of Category III by UEFA standards.
The construction of the stadium started in 2015 and up to GEL 10 million has been spent till now. Dagi LLC was supposed to complete the construction works in 2018.
In October 2015, the Municipality of the City of Zugdidi announced a tender (SPA150028614) for the construction of the stadium, in which two bidders took part. The municipality concluded a contract with the winner, Dagi LLC, on November 16, 2015, while the cost of the implementation of the works was set at GEL 9,747,000.
At this point, the main building and grandstands of the stadium have been built and the grass surface has been laid, though with a number of deficiencies:
- The grass surface is surrounded by a barrier made of reinforced concrete, and a football player may sustain a serious injury if he collides with it;
- The grandstands are arranged in such as way that a part of the spectators will not have a full view of the pitch, while the view from a part of the seats is blocked from one side by a reinforced concrete wall – in 2017, the then head of the Supervision Service of the Zugdidi City Hall, Tamaz Bulia, assessed these deficiencies as a “mistake in the project”;
- The grass is almost dry, it is not watered and processed periodically; the surface is uneven;
- Rain water leaks into the rooms of the building, which has damaged the walls and caused the collapse of the plaster from the ceiling of several rooms;
- Rain water also accumulates on the grandstands; the water drainage system does not work.
On May 13, the President of the Georgian Football Federation, Levan Kobiashvili, also spoke about the deficiencies of the construction.
At the second stage of the construction, an additional GEL 8,059,045 will be spent on the construction of a spare pitch and a parking lot.
Officials at the Zugdidi City Hall don’t know when the city will have a new stadium, whose infrastructure is already out of order before it starts functioning.
Rugby stadium and two hotels in Zugdidi
In February 2015, the then Mayor of Zugdidi, Irakli Gogokhia, stated that the Cartu Foundation was going to construct a rugby stadium in Zugdidi, for which a land plot with an area of more than 4 hectares was later allocated on the city’s Tetri Giorgi Street. In parallel with the main and spare pitches, the project also provided for the construction of two hotels. The construction has yet to begin, while the land plot allocated by the municipality still remains under state ownership.
Botanical garden in Ganmukhuri
In 2016, the then Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, made a statement about the development of a botanical garden is Ganmukhuri. Prior to that, Bidzina Ivanishvili had said a “very high-class hotel” was going to be opened in Ganmukhuri. Mr. Kvirikashvili said that the botanical garden and the hotel would be built with the assistance of the Cartu Foundation, the Co-Investment Fund, and the government. A total of USD 20 million was to be invested in the project, although, as it later became clear, the authorities had made the promise without knowing experts’ opinion on the feasibility of the construction of a botanical garden in Ganmukhuri: in July 2018, the former Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, stated that the botanical garden would no longer be developed in the village bordering the occupied Abkhazia, as it might pose a threat to the “unique local climate”.
It should be noted that after Mr. Kvirikashvili’s statement, the Zugdidi Municipality created a new legal person – Botanical Garden of Ganmukhuri – without having a written consent of the government, the Cartu Foundation, or the Co-Investment Fund to invest in the project of the Botanical Garden of Ganmukhuri. Eight people were employed in the new municipal organization, the State transferred two land plots in the village of Ganmukhuri to the ownership of the said organization, and up to GEL 150,000 in total was spent on the functioning of the legal person created for the management of a still non-existent botanical garden, which existed from August 2016 to January 2018.
Rugby stadium in Senaki
In March 2015, the Government of Georgia disseminated information about a transfer of land plots in the village of Nokalakevi, Senaki Municipality, to the Georgian Rugby Union free of charge and about a plan to build three rugby pitches. GEL 300,000 was supposed to be spent on the implementation of the project. However, as representatives of the Georgian Rugby Union have explained to us, in 2017 the aforementioned land plots were returned to the State, because, according to the official position of the Rugby Union, “it was impossible to find a person interested in funding the project”.