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$4 Million Needed to Repair Roads in Geghamasar: Residents Say Situation is Intolerable

Eighteen villages comprise the community of Geghamasar, in Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province, southeast of Lake Sevan’s lower basin.

The total length of Geghamasar community roads is 150 km. The total length of interstate-republican highways passing through the territory of the community is 45 km.

Community roads are mostly in poor condition. "The roads leading from the highway to the village need to be asphalted, and the roads between the villages must be evened out with the help of equipment, and potholes should be filled," notes an official government description of Geghamsar..

Pokr Masrik

Arpounk is 4 km from Pokr Masrik. The road is gravel and full of holes.

"The condition of the roads is bad. Travelling by car is tough. The roads tear up the cars,” says resident Sergey Harutyunyan. He visits his relatives in Pokr Masrik once a week. It’s a nearly impossible trip in the winter.

Harutyun Martirosyan, who has lived in Pokr Masrik since 1988, considers it a luxury to constantly repair a car due to the roads given the economic slump.

"Driving a car here is impossible. Although the road is leveled during the year, it becomes impassable after a few days.after a few days it becomes impassable again. In spring and autumn, the rain runs down the road, flooding homes and gardens," says Martirosyan.

Pokr Masrik Administrative Head Leon Manasyan has lived in the community since 1989.

"The situation hasn’t changed since 1989. The road is cleaned with graders twice a year, during snowmelt, in autumn or spring, and the holes are filled at the expense of the community. A plan for asphalting must be submitted. In other words, there must be state support for them to be asphalted,” says Manasyan.


Azerbaijanis lived in the village of Pambak until 1988, when the Artsakh Movement began. They left, as refugees, and were replaced by Armenians fleeing Azerbaijan.

In Pambak, village roads are dirt, with deep holes.

Armen Martirosyan has lived in Pambak since 1989. He says that in the past the condition of the interstate roads was awfully bad. They reached the village with great difficulty. Years ago, the road was closed several times as a sign of protest to repair the interstate road. Now, he is satisfied with the interstate road leading to the village, which has been repaired, and now he is waiting for the repair of the inter-village roads.

"The roads are not in good condition. There can be no question of asphalt. I am not saying that the roads must be asphalted, but at least they should level them,” says Armen Martirosyan.

Martirosyan told Hetq there are no water runoff drainage pipes in the community, "When it rains, water fills the road holes. Driving is impossible,” he says.

Last year, when the interstate road was being repaired, at the request of Pambak residents, repairmen leveled the main road between the villages and filled the holes with dirt. The repairs didn’t last long. 

Martirosyan says there are no promises to repair the village road. Residents hope that benefactors will fund repairs.


"We have been in this village since 1988. Military equipment drove through the village during the Artsakh liberation war. This main road entering the village is a war-torn road, but it is not repaired," says Norabak Administrative Head Vazgen Asaturyan.

The road to Norabak has not been repaired since the 1990s.

Impassable potholes dot the entire Norabak road. Angry drivers bypassed parts of the road and opened a new path through the fields.

Vazgen Asaturyan says his neighbors are leaving the village because of the lack of adequate living conditions.

"In this community, they should not collect taxes, but should subsidize us to live," he told Hetq.

Hetq toured other settlements in the Geghamasar community. The roads leading to Kakhakn, Azat, Avazan, Jaghatsadzor and Geghamabak villages are also in poor condition.

No roads will be repaired in Geghamasar this year

Officials at the Geghamasar Municipality say it will take an estimated 1.947 billion drams to asphalt and repair the gravel roads, branching off from the interstate highway, leading to the villages.


The Geghamsar Municipality says 29.5 km of these roads are in urgent need of repair but that such work will have to wait.

Photos by Ani Sargsyan, Narek Aleksanyan

Video by Ani Sargsyan

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