"WE HAVE A LOT TO DO"
Our interview with Stepanakert Deputy Mayor Samvel Ghulyan about the work full of difficult post-war problems.
- The year is coming to an end. Which of the planned works have been carried out and which are underway?
- First of all, let me mention that in addition to the programs planned for the current year, large-scale work has been carried out to eliminate the effects of the war. A number of social programs have been implemented with the help of both community and state budgets. We have now applied to the government to provide funding for the third phase of this work. It is visible to the naked eye the construction scale we have done. The roofs of apartment buildings have been replaced and repaired. Steps have been taken to improve roads and playgrounds. Work is already underway to improve the multi-storey elevators. In short, the municipality has not deviated from its normal life.
- At what stage is the issue of improving the shelters?
- To tell the truth, the structure responsible for civil defense would give a comprehensive answer to that question. For our part, I would like to say that the Housing Economy has done some cleaning work in the basements of the buildings, and they will definitely be continuous. I can say for sure that all the residential buildings that will be used in the near future will definitely have shelters with appropriate conditions.
- It seems that nothing is being done so that people with severe disabilities can use the minibuses as well as buildings of public and cultural significance. Are there any plans to make their lives easier?
- If you try to compare the current situation with what it was a few years ago, we will see that today's conditions for our disabled citizens have improved. In a number of public and cultural centers, as well as in parks, ramps have been built for our physically disabled residents. As for the conditions of use of transport, yes, they are not adapted for them, we still have a lot to do in this area.
- The issue of outdoor trade remains relevant. Is the problem actually solvable?
- Definitely. Outdoor trading was a problem even before the 44-day war. In the post-war period, its volume and geography increased significantly, as our displaced compatriots in Stepanakert began to engage in such trade, making the already multi-layered topic more vulnerable. We understand that most outdoor traders solve social problems, but we have repeatedly warned of the consequences of this phenomenon. It contradicts the sanitary norms, hinders the movement and free movement of people, distorts the appearance of the capital. Those involved in this trade are often visited by the food security officials of the municipality, the police. They carry out explanatory work, urge, warn. There have also been cases of administrative fines.
- What work have you done under the Yerevan-Stepanakert cooperation program? What is expected?
- By the decision of the Council of Elders of the Yerevan city community, money was provided for the improvement and modernization of the infrastructure damaged in the capital during the 44 days of the war. That work has been done, for which we are grateful to our partners. Mutual visits of mayors took place. There were constant contacts between different subdivisions. An exhibition-fair entitled "The Goods of Artsakh" was held in Yerevan, during which Artsakh products were presented. The aim was to make the Artsakh producers known in the Yerevan market, to improve the business environment in Artsakh, in its heart, in Stepanakert. I am sure that the path of our cooperation will be long and fruitful, covering all possible areas.