Just a few months ago, a four-kilometer-long road could take the residents and entrepreneurs of Chumlaki village in Kakheti region almost one hour to pass. Usually overloaded with heavy goods vehicles, the road’s shortcomings were wasting critical business time, and increasing costs for businesses.
Many farmers live in Chumlaki and the abundance of orchards was a key contributing factor in the poor development of cold storage farms locally. Local business owners recall that until recently, the problem of slow traffic movement combined with the distance for products to reach cold storage farms was causing significant issues.
Local businessman Soso Gioshvili explains: “There were delays due to the lack of proper infrastructure which resulted in the village road being paralyzed with large trucks: so, a four-kilometer-long road would take at least 40 minutes.” Soso owns a 500-ton capacity cold storage farm in Chumlaki. The entrepreneur adds that the initiative related to the road rehabilitation came from the local population.
The situation changed after the rehabilitation of the section connecting Chumlaki village with the Bakurtsikhe bypass road. The project was implemented within the framework of the Pilot Integrated Regional Development Programme (PIRDP), which was funded by the European Union. The new road reduces travel time and distance, simplifies access of surrounding areas to Tbilisi markets, and allows local businesses to reduce costs.
Andro Jokhadze, who cultivates Italian nectarines in Chumlaki, says: “Movement on the Chumlaki-Kitaani road was very difficult. The road used to physically be blocked, and the transportation of both people and products was delayed. The renewed infrastructure allows us to avoid all of this. We will be able to sale quickly and we will definitely not disturb each other anymore”, adds the farmer.
New road will Increase the access to Tbilisi market for various municipalities, also will optimize the cost by 25-30% for small and medium businesses. The local population believes that the bypass road project will promote the development of local businesses, which will ultimately affect the well-being of the population in the region.