Transcript of the program "Subject" on the channel "Efir."
Moderator: The program "Subject’ is in the air and Alexey Kuleshov is in the studio, hello! Our guest today is the Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin. Ilsur Raisovich, good evening!
Ilsur Metshin: Good evening.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, my first question is, of course, about the World Championships in Aquatics. In fact, a week, to be precise, 8 days are left before the start. Tomorrow first delegation of athletes will already come. Is the city ready for the competitions?
I.M.: I am glad to hear your question, because two years ago, when we met in the air before the Universiade, the question was: "Will you really be ready in time?" And there were compassion, excitement, and hope in this "really”. Today, you ask calmly, “Is the city ready?" I can say with full responsibility that we are ready. We have done a great job and I hope it is clear. The competitors and guests will see it, but our residents will certainly be the main guests.
A.K.: Talking about readiness, remember the last rain ... and the weather is still not joyful, it rains. All social networks were full of photos and videos of flooded roads, cars, etc. And they said that the water Championship started early. And you say that everything is ready...
I.M.: We have not only seen the photos, but were at the scene of the events. It was not a joke for us. This is a natural disaster, a hurricane downpour, which took place with such force that in two days we received a monthly norm of precipitation.
When you see on television the hurricane disaster in the United States, everybody worry and express sympathy. We have different reaction – everybody is looking for the guilty one. This is the same disaster, which, unfortunately, falls on Kazan as well.
And the storm water management certainly is not as good as possible. It simply can’t cope with the volume of rainwater. As a result, we see a landslide on the green lawns, broken trees, and torned wires. But in the night we cope with all this, and in the morning there is no problem.
A.K.: And is it really expensive to make water drain, sewers everywhere?
I.M.: To divert the rainwater from Bulak, we need 120 millions of rubles. 120 millions of rubles are the cost of one kindergarten for 100 children. Water drain is expensive. Nevertheless, we need them to do.
Unfortunately, in the late 90's - early 2000's, we were glad to any construction: if a tower crane works, so life goes on, new housing is building. Nobody was required for water drain, and the problem were growing for 20 years. Plus factories had dumped water drain that we gather today. This is the work, conducted in any city. According to experts of the Ministry of Construction and Housing in Russia, there is the most favorable situation among major cities of the Volga region in Kazan. Of course, there is senseless to say who is better and who is worse, when the whole streets are flooded ... But we don’t have the water to stay all day long, we learned how to manage with it.
A.K.: Let's get back to the championship. Ilsur Raisovich, you said about my calmness. For myself, in fact I would say that there is no such rush and excitement that were two years ago before the Universiade. Do you have the same feelings?
I.M.: Absolutely. First, the huge amount of work has been done in preparation for the Universiade, so now we do not have to build 14 interchanges, 44 pedestrian crossings, the airport, railway station and hotels at the same time... The main works were made during the Universiade. Also a lot of work has been done in preparation for this championship by all services, colleagues from the Government under the leadership of Rustam Minnikhanov, federal counterparts. We learned how to work together, without any hectic activity – in system, clearly putting the task. We did not start to prepare last week. We have painted our basic aims in a clear advance: sports facilities, the area of hospitality, restaurants, security and transport. Everyone clearly knows what to do. Republican and city staffs are working. Well-coordinated and organized work always yields good results.
Today we held the city staff meeting, all involved services reported, we carefully analyzed each moment. There is even timing from the beginning of the arrival of the first aircraft to the final guest. I set the task simple and clear: we must walk through all objects with a stopwatch in hand, like we do it for the first time. When we start to think, that we know everything well, this is the beginning of errors and failures. Therefore, once again we gathered all services today.
All the services of the city, the republic, and the federal structures are in full readiness.
A.K.: We have our first phone call. Good evening!
TV viewer: Good evening, Ilsur Raisovich and Alexey. In 2013, we were unable to buy tickets for the opening ceremony of the Universiade. Now after that bitter experience, we went to the ticket office, but could not get any tickets to the opening too. Why we can’t get to the competition in our city? Thanks.
I.M.: If we are talking about the opening ceremony, then, perhaps, I can understand the concern of our TV viewer. Actually, we were talking about the start of the sales of tickets a year ago. By the way, today only 35% of all tickets are sold, but it is necessary to hurry to buy them. Remember the opening ceremony of the Universiade. We persuaded and proposed various actions. But everyone thought that the opening ceremony will be a small celebration. When then they have seen a great show that we have been preparing for 2.5 years with our creative teams under the direction of Igor Krutoy and Alexei Sechin, the pandemonium for tickets began.
This time citizens are more active. We have sold about 135,000 tickets, and we are pleased that more than 17 thousand tickets were purchased through the Internet by foreigners. A lot of people are showing great interest, they fly overseas from China and Australia, there is a vast geography.
The opening ceremony won’t take place in "Kazan Arena"; we have converted the object for swimming competitions. "Tatneft-Arena" has only 8000 seats. Taking in account the athletes, delegations and media, space is limited. But we made a proposal, and thanks to Rustam Nurgalievich who supported us, the show will be repeated 8 times. Excepting tickets of interest finals, other still remain. 2/3 tickets to events are still available.
Moreover, we have organized the sale of tickets in different places. When we were inspecting the landscaping near Energetic University, at the metro station I have bought tickets to the finals of the men's and women’s water polo. I thought maybe, the tickets remain only for the Mayor and there was no queue especially for us. So I asked a friend to go and buy. And he has bought! But they said that the tickets to opening ceremony are gone, and for the final competitions the number of tickets is limited. Therefore, tickets are available and should be bought.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, the theme of improvement is, of course, very closely linked to the theme of the championship. Before the Universiade investments to build new roads and interchanges, subway stations were huge. We remember the traffic jams and were joking that sinners don’t go to hell, but they go to Kazan before the Universiade. Now, as you said, the event will be bigger than Universiade, but we still don’t not feel such big investments now.
I.M.: No, I can’t agree about the number of the things we have done. Let's start with the roads. Earlier this year, the national budget has allocated one billion rubles, 500 million rubles of which were directed to repair intra-roads. We were able to make 85 yards, 26 driveways. After inspecting of hospitality zone with Rustam Nurgalievich once again, it was decided to allocate another 1.5 billion rubles. Of these, 1 billion rubles - for roads, 300 million rubles - for the routes, and for first time 150 million rubles were allocated for sidewalks. Investments are serious.
Many things have been made by private traders.
This year, when we met with the restaurateurs, the staff was well trained, there was confidence in their eyes, and everyone knows what to do. And this sense of confidence is passing to us. We walked around hotels and then went to the upper floors, looked at what kinds of views are around hotels, and saw such things that were necessary to see. It makes sense to hold such international events to force us to climb to the roofs of hotels and look around. We brought in order a kilometer zone - facades, garbage bins, lighting and so on. Lots of issues have been resolved.
I want to thank everyone, because not only urban services and municipal enterprises were engaged in landscaping – everybody included to the work. And it was important, that no one had to be persuaded.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, I apologize, the viewer is waiting on the line for a long time, let's hear the question. Good evening!
TV viewer: Good evening. We live on st. Fucik, 20, and our yard is like it’s after a bombing. We have repeatedly appealed for help, and they even promised to make repairs this year, but so far nothing has been done. And I wrote to the "People's Control", they have answered, repair will be in 2017. How do you choose the yards to repair, what does it need to be repaired finally?
I.M.: Thank you for the question. Life changes and the requirements of the people are changing. When ten years ago we started a program of overhaul of housing, we had a problem that the every fourth roof flew, every fourth elevator demanded replacement. We could not ever dream about yards repair. Today we can respond to our citizens that in 2017 we will come to you to repair, and it is a great achievement. It’s clear, that people want it today, but there is no possibility to come at once in all the yards and solve all the problems.
We select a yard by the number of citizens calls, the year of construction of the house, look in which years is was renovated. We try to do complex repair.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, you have already started to talk about the overhaul of houses, but I wanted to ask. There is the crisis in the country, and we feel it. Building materials rose significantly. How did it affected on the program of overhaul of houses?
I.M.: You know, I want to thank the leadership of our country, President Vladimir Putin and, of course, our President, Rustam Minnikhanov for continuing of social programs in the crisis situation. For us they are fatal, they are very important. Judge for yourself, during the existence of the program from 2007, we repaired 35% of the housing stock, we replaced 30% of lifts – it’s a lot of money, it's billions. Only at this year the program of overhaul of the housing stock costs 1 billion 400 million rubles. Programs are continued.
We used to include another couple of buildings in the program when we had the expense reduction. This year we probably won’t do that, but the program will be executed. Moreover, the presidential program of overhaul of kindergartens, schools and cultural institutions is successfully implemented.
A.K: I wanted to ask about kindergartens, because it's a lot of questions. Of course, all ask to help to get a child to a kindergarten.
I.M.: Thank God, there is an electronic waiting list - we can see how it moves. The excitement in July is understandable. Children go to school, younger ones grown. As before, the promise of our President is satisfied that all children older than 3 years are provided with places in kindergartens in the country and in Kazan.
Now we are finishing the "Five years of health", which was proclaimed in 2010. We set for ourselves a number of positions, have promised to our citizens, to the voters, that we will do some steps. The most difficult position, which I have signed, was that we promised to build 20 kindergartens over 5 years. Today, thanks to the program "Belekech" of the President of the Republic, because of the federal program the "Road Map" of the construction of kindergartens, thanks to private kindergartens, the overhaul, putting additional groups, for 5 years Kazan has grew up on 101 kindergarten including 20 kindergartens that we will build this year. We exceeded the plan by 5 times.
However, the Internet reception in the Mayor's Office of Kazan continues to receive requests on this topic. What would have happened if these hundred of kindergartens were not built? But we are pleased with it. As the baby boom continues in Kazan - we will build more.
A.K.: Ok. We have another call from viewers. Hello.
TV viewer: Hello. Why in the Year of parks and gardens in Kazan trees are cut down? How can it was allowed to cut down the 100-year-old willow tree in the Uritsky park?
I.M.: I agree with the assessment that you give - it is really sabotage, but unfortunately, we cannot put a policeman in each park. This case is instructive and outrageous. This year over 30 parks and gardens of all the 132 will be capitally repaired. In this specific case a great public outcry was. Indeed, it was given permission to cut down several trees, but more of them were demolished. That should not have happened. But when the tree was cut down, we came to the place and found out that this tree turned rotten. This does not justify the action of the contractor. But we can only guess in what a hurricane and when it could fall on someone's head.
We have taken measures, developed regulations for each contractor. This contractor has been suspended from work forever. Anyway, they won’t receive any municipal orders. An expert council has been created. Before our businesses of accomplishment will receive permission of the Executive Committee, the expert council with public will take a concrete decision with experts.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, very little time remain unfortunately, and now I would like to address to the topic of flowers because they are in the city in great amount, in my opinion, even more than it was the in previous years. Was it made for the championship?
I.M.: Yes, we are preparing for the championship. Yes, as the Mayor I think, how can welcome guests, how can I surprise them. Today we met with volunteers. I have huge positive experience. And I think: it’s great, that these young people will welcome our guests and will be the decoration of holiday.
The same is about flowers. I appealed to all. We have planted 3 millions of them ourselves, but I have also appealed to businessmen, to our colleagues from the ministries, to schools and universities. As a result, we have planted 6.1 million flowers. And it's only the middle of summer. Let it grow, let it please us all, let this be a good tradition, let the city of Kazan will always be the flowering.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, and how many guests we are waiting on the championship, by the way?
I.M.: You know, today we expect that about 100 thousand visitors, in addition to the participants, will come to the World Cup. This number can vary in either direction. The most important is how many guests will arrive after the World Cup. TV audience will be 4 billion people. Kazan will be shown for three weeks around the whole world, and it is certainly a huge advantage. Suppose that at least a tenth of that people will get a desire to come in the next 5 years, even 5% is a huge number of tourists of the future, and therefore – for jobs in Kazan, and it is quite another opportunity for the city to express itself.
A.K.: I am not asking, whom will you support on championship, I think, it’s obviously.
I.M.: I'll be grieving for Kazan. For the city could proudly pass the test. I'll be grieving for athletes and visitors to leave our city with great satisfaction and remembered it. I also would like to invite to the celebration our citizens.
Be sure to visit the cultural park. It is 6 times bigger than the Park of Universiade, and it will be available free to all comers. The cultural program will be extensive. Go to the competition. People fly across the ocean to see this World Cup, it is an exciting event, and you live here - it is a holiday for you.
A.K.: Just l a minute left. Ilsur Raisovich, tomorrow will be Eid al-Fitr...
I.M.: I want to congratulate all people, our residents and citizens of the republic and the whole country, let the Almighty accept their prayers. We all pray for one thing - to live in peace. We pray to one God in different languages. We have different fastings - Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish. Our greatest asset is our interethnic world, we are the tolerant city. And we pray for that peace, for the blue sky, for the bread on our tables, so that all would be alive and live happily in our Kazan, in our rebublic, in our country. And once again, please come to the World Cup, it would be great, I promise you.
A.K.: The Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Raisovich Metshin. Thank you very much; I thank all our viewers and listeners for their attention. Bye!
I.M.: All the best to you!