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    CHECHEN RAILWAYS TO BE RESTORED BEFORE THE END OF 2006

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    MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Efforts to restore railway transport infrastructure in the Chechen republic are to be divided into three stages and completed before the end of 2006, says the press release of the Russian Railways open joint stock company.

    The company and the Chechen government have agreed to conduct the restoration together.

    The project will be chiefly financed by the federal budget and the company.

    In 2004, the first stage, their efforts will include the restoration of railway stations and stops, and also the provision of infrastructure and services for the population near these facilities.

    The company intends to spend 818.4 million roubles on this stage.

    At the second stage, 2005, uninterrupted passenger traffic between Grozny, Mineralnye Vody, Rostov-on-Don, and Moscow will be restored. Besides, electrification and the restoration of information and communications facilities on the Prokhladnaya-Khasavyurt section will be carried out. Moreover, the restoration of railways and stops will be continued, and a cargo container terminal set up in Grozny.

    This stage will cost 820 million roubles ($1 equals about 30 roubles).

    The third, concluding stage, 2006, of restoring railway infrastructure in Chechnya will require up to one billion roubles.

    Local law-enforcers and federal executives will see to it that security is provided at construction sites and railway traffic.

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