From noon yesterday, every vehicle that will pass through the Kalimashi tunnel (on the border with Kosovo and part of the "Rruga e Kombit" - "The Way of the Nation") will have to pay 5 euros. In case of a round trip, the sum will become 10 euros.
The payment of this 'toll' started yesterday and is carried out at the two entry points of the tunnel, where, temporarily, there are four branches (two per side) instead of the six per side initially planned.
The Way of the Nation - Rruga and Kombit
'Rruga and Kombitwill become the first Albanian toll motorway, as foreseen in the contract signed by the Albanian government and the companies (one Turkish and two Albanian) that took care of the construction of the highway.
Still according to the contract, however, at the end of the first two years the companies would have had to occupy themselves with other infrastructures, while for the moment they have only completed the 'pitch' where motorists will pay the toll. Other infrastructures that include, above all, the construction of the bridge over the Drin river.
The works of the companies are currently being limited, on the highway, where they have invested around 936.000 euros to protect the road and motorists from falling rocks from the mountains. A very small part, therefore, of the eight million investments envisaged at the signing of the contract with the Albanian government, which in case of lack of investment will require the sum per direct transaction.
Considering that, for 30 years, the revenues of these tolls will end up exclusively in the pockets of the companies, for which about 10-12 million is forecast for the euro of revenue per year.
The project initiated by the socialist government of Pandeli Majko and completed by the right wing of Sali Berisha has cost Albanian finances about one billion euros. "About" because no one knows how much was spent precisely, since the largest Albanian public work was built without any project and without a budget.
The news of the start of the toll on the border road between Kosovo and Albania has caused a lot of reactions, especially in Kosovo. In a telephone connection to the Top Channel television station, Kosovo's minister for infrastructure, Pal Lekaj, said that this tax is high and will have negative effects on both countries:
"As for the price of the tax, the toll is expensive. This will have consequences in both countries, as many Kosovar citizens travel to Albania every day and vice versa. It is all in the hands of the Albanian government, for this reason, tomorrow I will ask you to meet my counterpart Damian Gjinkuri and discuss the tariff reduction ".