Рыба давно сгнила с головы,
но взять себя за жабры
не позволяла...
Виктор Шендерович

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№ 115 (3265)19.07.2006
Notes of a press-secretary
The last President of Tatarstan (14)

On the eve of 1000th Kazan anniversary a new term appeared in official language, Mintimer Shaymiyev used it at first: "streets for guests". These are the streets which were shown to the guests of the city, amazing them with luxury new buildings, magnificence of decorations, good quality of the pavement. Yet if there are some "streets for guest", there also are their antipodes, there is nothing to show or be proud of on them. These are the streets most of the Kazaners live in.

Beyond dispute, a good host always puts his place in order before meeting dear guests. Yet it is usually done by the whole family, And in the whole house. Yet a careless host cleans up a hall and a drawing-room. He usually has no time for a bedroom, a nursery, a kitchen, and for other rooms. Complete chaos remains there ever.

The City-hall, Tatneft-arena, Basket-hall, equestrian sport complex, the underground... These are the buildings for the front of Kazan, its "hall" and "drawing-room". And in the bedroom there are boring multistoried houses, which people call "many-tier barracks", dusty streets, damaged pavement, courts, used like car parks, schools and hospitals with cracky ceilings, which are newer renewed because of the lack of money.

M8intimer Shaymiyev has always payed attention to the demonstrative prosperous image of Kazan. Not for there would never be enough money for the underground or the new race track in the budget of the Republic. It seems that he was... jealous of Fikryat Akhmetzyanovich Tabeyev unconsciously, of his reputation of a cities founder. For the Republic owes Tabeyev two cities Naberezhnye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk. Tabeyev convinced Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev of building Nizhnekamskneftekhim and KamAZ works. New cities had grown with the industry giants. Realizing the decree of Politburo, Tabeyev applied management principles of distribution за the responsibility and delegation of powers to the subordinates. Sure, he fixed a memorial tablet in the field, where on the place of the first new house, yet he did not control architects and builders.

But Mintimer Shaymiyev had some problems with delegation of powers. Kazan felt petty-minded meddling in the town-planning. He went beyond decisions making about building of an object. Some kind of exhibitions became usual for Kazan Kremlin. As Shaymiyev came to his office, different models of the buildings, plane-tables with sketches and drafts, as well as examples of materials. Everything in different variants were waiting for him. Shaymiyev chose. He did it with evident pleasure – he likes this job.

Sometimes he mixed up in the process of improvement of the look of a "street for guests" more intensively. The story about President’s struggle with a pavilion on front of "Detskiy Mir" department store is well known. I do not think that this construction was placed there without any permission. A place and amount of investments would not allow doing it. Yet as it was clear that not only the citizens, but the President himself did not like it, it turned out that this building has no documents and no owner. As Shaymiyev showed his displeasure three or four times, the pavilion vanished.

A story about correcting the project of the building of Republic State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate (GAI) is not known to everyone. Just very observant citizen could notice that the front of the building was on the edge of the street. Yet this street was not only the one "for guests", it is Shaymiyev`s everyday route. He drives it twice a day. I do not know why he did not pay attention to this building before, yet he noticed it on the 31st of December 1999. He called a meeting. The major of the city Kamil Iskhakov, the head of the GAI Кшалфе Minnikhanov, and some builders came.

- What are you doing? - Mintimer Shaymiyev started directly. - Don’t you see that the building will not combine with the square in front of the Exhibition center? Let us think what we can do to improve everything.

They did not thin long. They decided that there is no chance – some walls had to be demolished, for the building process was in progress. Iskhakov tried to object to it:

- Mintimer Sharipovich, we have to plan the whole building again. It will make its space smaller and the whole process more expensive...

- You can leave the building, - I broke into the conversation. - You have to build the underground under it and the building will fall down on its own.

Iskhakov knitted his brows. Shaymiyev did the same. Then he finished the discussion:

- Let us think that Irek jokes. Yet it was not a good joke, - then he offered peacefully: - Let us celebrate the coming New Year.

After the New Years holidays the front of the building was demolished and the Building was built on a distance of the street.

My joke about the underground was inappropriate indeed. I knew Shaymiyev’s relation to Kazan underground. On the 27 if August 1999 the President visited the base of Kazmetrosroi, which was founded two years earlier. The appliances for productions of tunnel liner from France were shown to the President; a running meter of the tunnel was demonstrated. All the rest was presented at the sketches and photos. Shaymiyev was glad to see it all:

- I am twice sure than before that there will be the underground in Kazan. After the bridge over Kama was finished, the main power will stay here.

The underground is built. And during the building of the first Kazan underground, Shaymiyev often visited it. He sometimes did it without journalists. Yet sketches of the new stations were shown him every time. Mintimer Sharipovich always had the last word about the look of the station.

In September 2001 Mintimer Shaymiyev took part in an official delegation, it accompanied the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan. At the arrival day an excursion through Tokyo took place. We rode the monorail too. It is the same underground, yet over the earth. At the end of the trip I asked Shaymiyev:

- Mintimer Sharipovich, shouldn`t we build such road in Kazan instead of the underground?

Shaymiyev kept silent. I think it was the silence which gives consent. Yet it was too late to change anything.

Another story is the appearance of an grotesque architectural masterpiece "Tugan avylym" ("My native village") in the center of the city. It has its roots in a President’s visit to Nizhnekamsk. After traditional new-buildings presentations, visits of industrial objects, meetings with interesting people, Ilsur Metshin, who was the major of the city then, invited the President for a dinner in a newly opened restaurant, called "Arba", in style of an old village. Shaymiyev liked the "country-style" restaurant so much that he wanted the same to be opened in Kazan. And "Tugan avylym" appeared in Sukonnaya sloboda district.

The demonstrative new face of Kazan is a weight, which not only our contemporaries, but our offspring too will carry. Mintimer Shaymiyev can be concerned to be the author of it. The underground, the race track, even Tatneft-arena, and Basket-hall can not be profitable now, and stay it for a long time till they start to provide for their being. Such objects can exist just with steady financial support in our reality, for people do not have enough money. It means, these objects will take away the finances of the streets, which are "not for dear guests".


Continuation. Read the beginning № 98, 101 - 103, 105 - 111, 113, 114.

(To be continued)


On the 17 of July on the sitting of the Political council of the Tatarstan department of "United Russia" party the articles cycle by Irek Murtazin was condemned according to an offer of a Leninogorsk city secretary. The party members say that publications soil the reputation of the RT President Mintimer Shaymiyev, who is also a co-chairman of the Highest Council of the party.



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