Tulun’s Backfire

Tulun’s Backfire

Photo: http://ria.ru

The reconstruction of housing washed away by the summer flood in Baikalia, the area to the west of lake Baikal, is behind schedule again. Igor Kobzev, governor of the Irkutsk region in southeastern Siberia, was forced to make large-scale reshuffles in the regional government. Meanwhile, his political opponents started playing the “Tulun card.”

The state of things in Tulun, a town in the Irkutsk region, located 390 km northwest of Irkutsk, was once again criticized by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. Claims of the federal center are the same as last year: the pace of reconstruction works is slow, and the commissioning of many facilities has been delayed. “A special command unit has been established,” said Khusnullin. “On a daily basis, it will deal with the issues of housing reconstruction monitoring customers, builders and suppliers.”

Apparently, Khusnullin gave the regional authorities a chance to save the face. That is why the major part of accusations has been made against the contractors. Some of them were notified of pending dismissals. Others would get on the black list with a total ban on fulfilling the state orders. However, the sources of wek.ru report that behind closed doors the Irkutsk region authorities also heard a lot of unpleasant things about themselves for failing to build a clear algorithm of operations. Especially considering the fact that Kobzev's first 100 days in office are over. Therefore, it is time to show some achievements.

Interestingly, insufficient pace of works in Tulun was one of the reasons for firing Sergey Levchenko, the former governor of the region and a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF.) And today, he criticizes everyone for the failure. Recently, Levchenko has visited the city inspecting the construction sites. In his opinion, earlier, the construction had been faster. Besides, due to the economic situation, a number of initiatives will have to be suspended. According to Levchenko, the general plan of the Ugolshchikov district provides for the construction of three two-storied buildings, ten five-storied buildings and a kindergarten. However, the budget revenues are falling, and there is a risk of its sequestration.

“Chances are, although Tulun needs five-storey houses, the authorities will refuse to build them,” said Levchenko. “After visiting the construction sites in the Ugolshchikov and Berezovaya Roshcha districts, just one conclusion can be made, namely, that the construction sites have been abandoned. In the two and a half months since my resignation, there is no significant progress in construction work. Despite the fact that the works were carried out almost in a round-the-clock mode from July to December. At present, not even a dozen of builders are working at each construction site during workhours in the afternoon. This cannot be called “work.”

The recent reshuffles in the regional government might be connected with Tulun. The main castling move is that at present, local government is headed by Konstantin Zaitsev, the former top-executive of the Federal Tax Service Directorate in Irkutsk. The Mayor of Irkutsk City, Dmitry Berdnikov, also joined the regional government as first vice-governor. Ruslan Bolotov, the former head of the regional government, left for the post of deputy mayor of Irkutsk (clearly, aiming to become its mayor in the future election.) Possibly, there is a plan that the Zaitsev-Berdnikov tandem will decimate the sluggish contractors. The latter man went to Tulun almost immediately.

“This is his first business trip,” said Berdnikov. “The city is recovering. However, the pace should be faster. The problem has to be solved comprehensively and rapidly. He held consultations on the utilization of certificates and legal and social assistance with the residents of Tulun. Today, it is very important to establish work with the builders and to create a constructive dialogue with people. The responsibility that we have ahead of us here is huge, and the tasks are large-scale.” One more person has been dismissed. However, this dismissal is hardly connected with Tulun. Sergei Sokol, the speaker of the legislative assembly the regional legislative assembly, announced that he would quit on March 17. Sokol got a post of a deputy in the State Duma, as Olga Batalina, the new deputy minister of labor and social protection, was leaving. It is worth

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