|№ 113 (3263)||15.07.2006|
Notes of a press-secretary
The last President of Tatarstan (12)
The "Presidential" Program of liquidation of tumbledown accommodation is another "guest from the past", just like the gasification of villages. On the 17th of April 1986 Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU decreed that 2,2 square meters of dwelling space would be built, that barracks and dwelling houses, unable for living, would be destroyed, and a middle person would have 22,5 square meters of the living space, instead of 14,6, in the decree "About main ways to speed-up solving of the dwelling problem in the country". Moscow prescribed a hard spade-work in case of barracks and old houses dwellers, that means to find out how many they are.
The Program was supplied through the State Procurement department (Gossnab) of the USSR. The head of this mighty organization, Veniamin Emmanuilovich Dymshic favored Tataria. The Republic did not deny anything. More and more people resettled from barracks to decent dwellings. Not less people than in modern Tatarstan had got new apartments. Saying that in the USSR they had to adjust everything, even building a WC, with Moscow is just a try to confuse the matter. Yes, the adjustments were necessary. Yet after the 17th of April 1986 Moscow did not restrict, but demanded to build more dwellings. Kazan followed this direction. In 1990 the amount of new-built dwelling houses was very high, and the overall dwelling space of the houses built by the year 2000 consisted just 85% of this amount, in spite of the fact that the Program was developed. Yet at the end of the eighties the authority did not overemphasize its achievements in the social field, did not arouse the feeling of "gratitude" for such "trifles" like cardinal change of living conditions.
After the collapse of the USSR Mintimer Shaymiyev just continued to support the building just like the Soviet government, leaded by Mikhail Gorbachev did, and renamed this program, calling it "Presidential". We just can concern that the term "slums", put into the speech by The Evening Kazan journalists, was new.
Another time began; there was no centralized financing from Moscow. It was necessary to look for recourses to finish the good deed.
I took part in the meetings, held by the President, where the questions of the program realization were discussed. Mintimer Sharipovich listened intently to the speeches. Vice=prime minister of Tatarstan Ravil Muratov and the head of the off-budget living found Talgat Abdullin maintained their position of using state financing as an ignition key of some kind to start market mechanism. They insisted on the following: the dwelling found should store the resources, which the state becomes through selling land after demolition of slums by auction. Besides, they proposed to sell some apartments for commercial prices to the people, who could not get it according the Program, but could afford buying it. And the main point was: they wanted to emphasize building low houses, what is cheaper, than the multistory housing strange though. Expenses for water and heat are reduced, for there is no need to bring water on the ninth floor for instance. Only emigrants live in multi-storey housing in the West countries.
The concept by Muratov and Abdullin, and their mechanism of filling out the dwelling found was not put in use. In spite of the fact, that in a year or a little more after the off-budget dwelling found could become profitable.
Shaymiyev found this way of solving the problem of slums too complicated. An alternative concept was much simpler and clearer – the render "slum tribute" to all the enterprises of the Republic. And they really did it. People, who tried to call things by their real names, it means, who called this dues illegal, were stopped up by laconic words by Shaymiyev: "The one, who does not want to pay should leave Tatarstan".
The realization of the Program of liquidation of tumbledown dwellings showed corruption in the Reoublic. Nowadays it is clear that Moscow’s instructions about counting people, needing resettlement, formed on the 17th April of 1986 on the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPUS, were not executed by the Soviet of Ministers, leaded by Mintimer Shaymiyev. They have counted the number of apartments in the slums. Yet they did not know how many lodgers are there, even by the moment, as the new houses were ready. And what is more, the number of "slumers" increased. Mainly for people by fair means or foul continued to register themselves in the houses, they never lived in. Yet they had got new apartments. Often they did it even faster than those, who spent all their life in the slum. If we look who lives in the new houses, built according the Program, on Glushko, Vagapova, Sakharova streets for example, we will see that the situation is surprising: one third of the apartments in these houses is occupied by lodgers, and not by the owners of the apartments. Where do the owners leave? Do they live on the street? No, they do not. Some enterprising people had just used an authorities’ mistake, the fact that no one counted the real number of "slumers".
Distribution of the apartments, built by the dwelling found, was realized by the city’s officials, giving him condition for abuse of their power. Everyone knew some fixed rates for getting an apartment not in a far district, but in a prestigious one, or on a good floor.
Yet the officials who made a profit out of their power were just small fishes in the sea of corruption. The sharks were swimming in deep waters of developing land, where slums were situated. Even Shaymiyev has got to know how painful the situation was, though everyone usually tries to hide such kind of information from him. On one of the town planning sittings, Mintimer Sharipovich grumbled at the presence of journalists: "All lands are sold out for bribes..." One could see these words in all newspapers, yet no one understood, whom the President meant.
It is too early to sum up the realization of the Program of liquidation of tumbledown dwelling, yet some conclusions can be drawn.
"Tatarstan`s model" of slum liquidation had to affect economical development of the Republic. Finances, that were paid by all the enterprises into the off-budget found, slowed down the growth of people’s paying capacity, for enterprises took the money also from the wage funds.
The forcing of building and infrastructure lag (the new districts often had a lack of schools, kindergartens, policlinics) created a "new ghetto" in Kazan. And the resettlement of people from the center of the city looked like "social apartheid".
There also is a saddest fact, which no one can improve. On the quiet, using the Program as a cover, Old Kazan was destroyed. Not only real hovels, but houses, which formed original look of the city, saved its history and culture where razed to the ground.
Continuation. Read the beginning in 98, 101 - 103, 105 - 111.
(To be continued)