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№ 111 (3261)12.07.2006
Notes of a press-secretary
The last President of Tatarstan (11)

The contemporary history of Tatarstan is a variegated patchwork of myths and reality. Truth and fantasy are mixed so, that it is hard to distinguish one from another.

The credit of political stability and peace is commonly given to Shaymiyev, he is also praised for gasification in the country and liquidation of old houses programs. No one remembers that the work on their realization started to work out long before "Shaymiyev’s age".

The gasification of the republic was planned after the Second World War. As the commercial oil production started in 1943, the casing-head gas was just burned in the bores’ torches. There were years, when 100 millions tons of oil were lifted and almost 10 milliards cubic meters of gas were burned out. The land needed oil, no one thought about productivity.

Tatarstan did not use its casing-head gas, and no pipe-bends were provided in the gas-main pipelines, which cross the Republic from east to the west. Tataria raised a question about rational use of the cashing-head gas, about pipe-bends in gas-main pipelines, yet it could not get matters off the ground.

Loosing the problem started seriously just in the middle of eighties years of the last century, as they started to work out the Program of full gasification of the villages. And it began to be realized after the meting of Party members, where the representatives of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR.

Mukhammat Sabirov, who was the vice-chairman of the Soviet of Ministers of TASSR then, spoke long about details of the program. It provided forcing of design and survey works for pipe-dashes from the gas mains to big gas consumers. It was planned that "Vostokmontazhgaz" enterprise will do this job. Two enterprises "Tatransgas" of the Ministry of Gas production of the USSR and "Tattransgas" association would be the customers. All building enterprises of the Republic would take part in the realization of the program, such giant organizations as "Tatneftestroi", "Kamgesenergostroy", "Glavstroi", and other. A special department of the Ministry of Oil and Gas had to execute wet excavation in Volga and Kama.

Secretaries of District and Cities Committees of the CPSU had got some directives about the priority of gasification works. Their goal was to receive guests, the building experts, who took part in the Program: these needed apartments, food, and helpers.

After the Central Committee had blessed the Program it could be realized without any problems. There were no problems with financing. High quality documentation and good substantiation of the need in some finances, equipment or building materials would help, the officials would not bring themselves to prevent it, especially since the Central Committee controlled it. The main necessary condition for experts of the National Planning Committee of the USSR was the guarantees that all the recourses and finances will be used properly.

Yet this was a problem. The Soviet of Ministers of TASSR, leaded by Mintimer Shaymiyev, could not organize the work and prove the ability to use finances and recourses the right way. The program was been realized neither good nor bad, and on the eve of the USSR collapse stopped and was put off. Shaymiyev started it again being a President and declared this program to be "Presidential".

The date of the rebirth of the Program of gasification is the 5th of August 1995. On this day Farit Mukhammetshin, who was the Prime-minister of the Republic then and the head of RAO "GAZPROM" Rem Vyakhirev signed a treaty about gasification of the cities and villages of the republic. According to this document the Program was realized by "Tattransgaz", the Tatar branch establishment of "GAZPROM", and the Republic would pay with its property, by giving "Tattransgaz" the asset management over the "Tatstroigazifikaziya" enterprise.

Yet in a half a year "Tatstroigazifikaziya" was factually liquidated by joining it with "Tattransgaz". This way a new gas monopoly was born in the Republic. Nowadays it controls 3600 km of gas-main pipelines, 8000 km of secondary pipelines in Tatarstan and the local net of pipelines.

"Tatstroigazifikaziya" was valued at 536 milliards 415 millions Ruble before the denomination. Then it was clear that the price is too low, and it was valued again. The price has grown. It consisted 1 trillion 200 milliards Ruble. By the way, 6000 of "Tatstroygasificaziya" workers could become the owners of the joints (about 200 000 Ruble pro person) if the privatization would start early enough. The profits would be distributed every year. Yet this question was discussed in 1995, and then all the papers were prepared. It was not corporization, but joining of the company (though such procedure was even not legal then), and al the workers did not get anything.

Yet 6000 workers of "Tatstroygasificaziya" are the ones to thank for the realization of the gasification program, Tatrstan paid for it with the property, which belongs them by right.

Yet to bring gas to the villages is just half the work. It was hard to build pipelines on village streets and bring gas to the houses. An extra off-budget Found of gasification was created to do it. Yet every villager had to pay for gasification of his house.

The Found looked for finances everywhere. It has got money from the budget, the production - from the large enterprises. And the Found functioned as a large and closed trade firm. It was closed and this is a good ground for misapplication of funds. It is concerned that the entire Republic is gasified. Yet it is fiction. I traveled through the districts in the autumn of 2005. I saw that only one or two streets in some villages have pipelines.

The prime-minister of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov visited the Program closing ceremony in Lubyany village, in Kukmorski district. By the way, his father had been living in this village for some years. Minikhanov spoke on the final meeting and left the village. He probably does not know that he was mistaken. For the village is gasified just in the papers and probably according to the budget of the Found of gasification. Less than half of the villagers can use gas in fact. And all the other have got a new problem. They used gas from the gas-cylinders formerly. Yet no one supplies them now. They asked to loose this problem in different instances. Yet they always get one answer: "The entire village is supplied with gas, and you can not have this problem, you do not need any gas-cylinders". So Lubyany lives without gas at all. And there are other villages without gas.

I made a "discovery" in the autumn of 2005 during my trip: there are many people in the villages who can not pay for the gas. There are pipes, and they can use it, yet people have debts. The villagers are lucky if they have a pensioner in a family or if one of them gets money from budget, like teachers and doctors: These people get money in time. Yet if the family is able to work, yet not too young, so they can not look for a better life anywhere else? How can they pay for gas, if they get their wages two or three times a year? And just on great republican holidays the wage is paid with money.

Mintimer Shaymiyev often remembers that in his childhood the ovens were often stoked with pressed dung. Yet he probably does not know that people in the gasified republic start to use pressed dung again.


Continuation. Read the beginning in 98, 101 - 103, 105 - 110.

(To be continued)


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