ISTANBUL (1) - Turkey held its first tender on Thursday to put together to construct an enormous canal on the sting of Istanbul, a Transport Ministry spokesman mentioned, signaling progress on the project regardless of widespread criticism over its price and environmental impression.
The tender was for the planning section of reconstructing two historic bridges positioned within the space the place the 45-km (28 mile) Kanal Istanbul, championed by President Tayyip Erdogan, is anticipated to run.
The canal will join the Black Sea north of Istanbul with the Marmara Sea to the south and is estimated to price 75 billion lira ($11.6 billion). The federal government says it'll ease transport visitors on the Boshphorus Strait and forestall accidents there.
However the canal, like many different infrastructure mega-projects constructed below Erdogan’s 17-year rule, has been criticized by opponents who say it'll wreak environmental havoc and pollute contemporary water assets.
5 firms bid on Thursday for the planning of the reconstruction of the historic Odabasi and Dursunkoy bridge, state-owned Anadolu information company mentioned. The legitimate bids ranged from 408,000 lira ($63,500) to 550,000 lira.
The project, which was successfully on maintain after a foreign money disaster in 2018 drove the economic system into recession, got here again on the agenda in December, main to heated exchanges between Erdogan and Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a member of the primary opposition occasion.
Imamoglu mentioned spending assets on the canal whereas Turkey combats the coronavirus outbreak was “thoughts boggling”, including that 50,000 households had utilized to the Istanbul municipality for help due to the financial impression of pandemic.
“Why don’t we spend our assets for our individuals as an alternative of spending our assets on Kanal Istanbul, which to us is a bizarre project?” he mentioned.
($1 = 6.4441 liras)
Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Modifying by Dominic Evans