Aleksandr Lukashenko hears out report from Chairman of Minsk City Council Nikolai Ladutko

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Nikolai Ladutko on 17 September to receive his report.

    The head of state was primarily interested in how the city administration handles problems and in efforts meant to straighten out the civil engineering industry. “As far as I understand the commission has finished working and naturally it has paid the bulk of attention to Minsk because there are many large-scale construction projects here and many drawbacks and people complain a lot,” said the President.

    According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Minsk needs a balanced city planning policy, spare areas should be used for home construction without placing homes excessively tightly. “Certainly I understand that people don’t want to live in cramped space but they should understand that other people need homes, too. And it is cheap to build like that without having to extend utility networks too much. Agricultural lands are an exception. They cannot be used. Forests can be felled only for commercial purposes. So we cannot avoid tight home construction,” believes the head of state. “But certainly without going to extremes. Be that as it may, there are many lands fit for construction in Belarus. Therefore, a more careful approach is needed”.

    The President remarked he was going to personally get familiar with the situation evolving inside the Minsk ring road with regard to spare lands and suggested construction projects. “We have a lot of spare small plots as large as half a hectare, one hectare, maybe two hectares where homes can be built among other things,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. In particular, the head of state pointed out that there are many bushes in agricultural lands near residential areas. The bushes can be removed to build homes on those lands. “We should forget conventional ways that need fields as large as 200ha for charting plans and building things. We should use other spots, too. You can build homes for 50 or 100 people there but it will be convenient for people”.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko also suggested using some of the land plots, which are located in the center of the city and have been reserved for outstanding future projects. “Take a look at the land plot near the Belarus Hotel where a confectionery factory once was. Certainly, the park from the river side should stay but for the place where the factory was we need something beautiful but without oversaturating the area”.

    “Without affecting the Pobedy Park, free zones along Pobeditelei Avenue behind the Sports Palace, some nice things should be inserted there and made into landmarks and symbols of Minsk,” added the head of state. “And again we should mobilize our entire creative architecture elite so that they would once again examine the major nodes of Minsk, lay things out once again and think. Then we will see in what direction Minsk will develop. There is too much chaos in development”.

    The President reminded about the need to keep streets clean, particularly in view of the forthcoming summit of the CIS heads of state that will take place in late October. By that time the construction of the Independence Palace should be finished. “The heads of ex-USSR republics should come and see that the Belarusian state has matured as a sovereign and independent nation. Here are its symbols, namely the State Flag Square, the Independence Palace where they will hold negotiations, where the summit will work,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    He also gave instructions to think about ways to make the Independence Palace accessible to the public despite the fact that it will host important state events and will house the working office of the Belarus president. “Access to the palace should not be restricted. Moreover, Belarusian builders are building it for the people to see that we can do everything. It is a symbol and people should be able to access it,” stressed the head of state.

    The Minsk Mayor informed the President about the implementation of the housing construction program in Minsk. This year 1 million m2 of housing will be commissioned in the Belarusian capital. The next year’s home construction program aims for the same figure. “The bulk of these homes are in the construction phase now. We are working hard for dozens of thousands of Minsk residents to get their apartments next year,” said the Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee.

    The head of state drew attention to troubled construction projects and stressed that they must be commissioned without damaging interests of citizens. The Mayor assured that these homes will be commissioned in 2013 and in H1 2014. “It is now necessary to organize the operation of Minsk’s civil engineering industry to avoid such situations in the future,” he said.

    Speaking about the readiness of Minsk for the forthcoming summit, the Minsk Mayor informed about a set of measures, which include the beautification of the city and its key thoroughfares.

    The meeting also touched upon the reconstruction of major sport facilities such as the Dinamo Stadium and the Tractor Stadium.