The transcript of the TV program “Theme” on the channel “Efir” with the participation of the Mayor of Kazan.
Presenter: The TV broadcast continues with “Theme”. I am Alexey Kuleshov, hello! Traditionally, our guest at the end of the year is Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan. Together we are summing up the year. Ilsur Metshin will also answer your questions. You can ask your question right now, live. Our number, I recall, 554-22-22. Mister Metshin, good evening!
I.M.: Good evening!
A.K.: Congratulations on the coming New Year, I guess, we can congratulate already. It’s less than a week until the end of 2018, and what do you think Kazan citizens will remember? World Cup in the first place, or maybe...
I.M.: All the years, especially the last one, were filled with bright events, but even in comparison with those recent years, 2018 was a special one. First of all, because of the World Cup, of course. We first won it with the whole country, then prepared and held it. This is an unforgettable event that will remain a golden page in the history of our country and in the history of Kazan. And there was a lot of other events: bright air shows and the opening of the circus after reconstruction, new public spaces. The year ended with the All-Russian festival “Good Wave”. This is what concerns events.
In general, it was such a tense, creative, working year. We built our large companies, opened new productions, new enterprises of the group of companies: “TAIF” and “Tatenergo”, and many others. Despite the crisis, there were steps that predetermine confidence in our future.
Another thing that is important for each person, of course, is that we did directly in his yard and in his district. So much work continued on the overhaul and construction work: the roads, the yards, and the housing.
If we take not just 2018, but also the five-year plan, probably, the year showed that we are polycentric in the development of the city. That is, not everything we did and do is for the center and the central streets. Large works are being done in the so-called residential areas, the suburbs, the settlements. We want people living in the capital could feel the conditions of the capital, regardless of where they live.
A.K.: And are there some examples of this polycentric already now?
I.M.: Certainly! In all the districts of the city. In the Privolzhsky district, a significant event is the opening of the station “Dubravnaya”. This is a completely different level of transport service. We continued the improvement of the Gorkinsko-Ometievsky forest, this is both the Privolzhsky and Sovetsky districts, and even the residents of Azino. As for Azino, we completed a beautiful pedestrian promenade near the school №125, which starts from Fucik Street and ends on Pobedy Prospect. In general, the volume of construction work was large. In the Privolzhsky district, we made a four-lane movement on Bratiev Battalovykh Street. Magistralnaya Street in the Vakhitovsky district has not seen and repair for 20 years, there wasn’t even stormwater. We completed it.
If we speak of the large ones, probably, the Komsomolets Square near the former cinema on the tankodrome. In the center of the city, we made the Kaban Embankment. We will continue work there next year. Thanks to the group of companies “TAIF”, the embankment of the NCC and the largest parking for 1200 cars appeared in the city. And we have plans for the next year to further develop this park and make a children's amusement park there.
On the other side, this is the “Kazan”, we did a Fan Festival there and a big promenade from Kozya Sloboda, the so-called Festivalnaya Street.
A.K.: How many photos were taken there during the World Cup!
I.M.: Oh yes, yes. Dozens of thousands, I believe.
Absalamov Square got the first stage, the next year will be the second one.
As for the Aviastroitelny district, the most important milestones are signing a contract with the Ministry of Defense for the modernization and construction of ten TU-160, missile carriers. This is future, these are jobs, taxes, the future of the residents of the Aviastroitelny district.
We can itemize for a long time, but, I think that the most important thing is that the residents of our city see it and feel the changes.
A.K.: What about our native Kirovsky district?
I.M.: This is the “Salavat Kupere”. Thank God, today we can say that this is not some residential neighborhood. It has a social infrastructure, we opened a long-awaited school for 1200 children with two pools, two gyms, and two concert halls. The children can learn and develop skills and talents given them by God and parents.
Yudino, of course. A lot of work was carried out to the anniversary of Yudino. We completed 24 streets there, 19 yards, repaired the housing. Now, the reconstruction of the monument is underway and will be completed by May 9, and it is a historical heritage.
Thanks to the leadership of Russian Railways, personally Oleg Belozerov, we take back the House of Culture, and sports infrastructure to the municipal property at the request of our President Rustam Minnikhanov. A number of works have already been completed at the stadium; next year, the sub-tribune premises will be repaired and sports facilities will be built.
A.K.: Each district will have its own center, right?
I.M.: This is the level of culture, sports life, the level of using talents in each area. Now there is no need to go through the whole city. Of course, we have one opera house, the Philharmonia or the conservatory. But everything else should be at the place of residence. Thanks to the support of our President, the Government, thanks to those unique republican programs that operate only in Tatarstan, we are creating such conditions today.
A.K.: Mister Metshin, if we return to the Aviastroitelny district. If I am not mistaken, it became, let's say, a pioneer in separate garbage collection.
I.M.: We try to be the first in this. Life forces. We made 109 container sites and 430 containers for separate garbage collection. This is a big topic, we will definitely talk about it again.
A.K.: We have a question from the viewer on this subject? Oleg Sharov asks for what this separate collection is needed at all. Don’t they throw all garbage from different containers into one big dump? It turns out, people do not believe too much, yet.
I.M.: This is a difficult topic, we are catching up the world. Worldwide, the culture of the separate waste collection already exists. We have to go this way. In Russia, unfortunately, there is no such experience yet. And I believe that studying the best international experience, we will be able to go through a shorter period of time and make this program. We will start with children, education in schools.
The amount of garbage has changed too much, and the morphology of garbage has changed. When we were children, the garbage was eggshells, cucumber and potato peels, paper and that’s all, no plastic. Today we create 500 thousand tons of garbage every year and imagine what kind of mountains these are! Therefore, if we want to live in a clean, eco-friendly, comfortable city we will cope with it. For me, this is one of the main tasks for the near future.
A.K.: All right, we have a call from our viewers. Hello!
Call: Good evening! Mister Metshin, I have a question. Don’t you think that Kazan is fixating on holidays? There are so many issues in the city have not yet been resolved, life is getting harder every year, what do you think?
I.M.: Thank you for your question. And there is already a piece of the answer in it. If you call these events holidays, everything is not so bad after all. In fact, it is hardwork for us. Starting, probably, with the 1000th anniversary, the Universiade, the FINA, and the World Cup. These are huge infrastructural changes of the city, which remain to our citizens afterward. Championship passed within a month. Interchanges, hotels, airport, railway station, pedestrian crossings, large health facilities – all this remains in Kazan. Our people work there and get salaries, bring wealth to the house. People themselves change, our youth change. We keep hearing “instead of a stadium you can build 100 kindergartens”. But, thank God, we built 110 ones. I want to note, we looked at the statistics of the last 10 years. The number of social facilities, kindergartens, schools, clinics, cultural facilities, sports facilities has increased. We either take the first or second place among all the capitals, subjects of the Russian Federation. I don’t include Moscow and St. Petersburg, because they are separate entities. We continue to build. The whole world comes to us for these holidays, and today, step by step, we are moving towards recognition in this work. We have grown 8 times in the number of tourists. In November, a three million tourist arrived - this is a systematic work. The tourism industry creates jobs, taxes, souvenirs, hotels, cafes, taxis, etc. This is our future. And we are working clearly and systematically on this. And in general, life is boring without holidays.
A.K.: Mister Metshin, you started talking about infrastructure. I remember when the city looked like one big construction site. This year, it seemed to be quieter despite the World Championship. How many yards have been repaired this year?
I.M.: It is the best emotions for me as a fan, as a person who has played football since childhood. We saw the best participants of the World Cup: the twice world champions French, we saw Messi, Neymar, the Spanish team, Germans, Poles, and before there were Mexico, Colombia, and, of course, their impressions. I remember when the national team of Colombia arrived, the whole city was in yellow. And when in absolute silence, 25 thousand fans sang the hymn of their country, we all had chills. Of course, this event won’t be forgotten. At the Fan-Fest, which daily gathered 25 thousand people at a time, we met and saw kind people from all over the world. They discovered a new Russia, the Tatarstan region, the thousand-year-old Kazan. These are emotions you live for. As for the economy, from all enterprises, hotels, cafes, taxis, everyone in the service sector, we received 11 billion rubles for this period. This is 6 times more than the same period last year. And emotions, 5 thousand different articles with mentions of Kazan. We monitored, 100 thousand posts in social networks were made over the period of preparation for the World Cup, during it and after. We hope for a long-stay effect. And the most important thing is that all the good nature of our volunteers, our Kazan citizens, have gone to all ends, to all continents. What impressions do you have, Alexey?
A.K.: I love very much when people from different cities and countries communicate. I remember that I regretted that the World Cup was over and the foreigners left.
I.M.: This is about holidays. Holidays are definitely needed. These are events, we will remember them after years will pass. Do you know the main result, what was the keynote about Kazan?
A.K.: I hope our hospitality and goodwill. Wasn’t it?
I.M.: This was, too. The main thing that all reporters, fans, participants, and FIFA organizers came to note was the cleanliness of the city. This is our main achievement, this is the crown of our work, because cleanliness is worth a lot. It speaks about the culture of our Kazan citizens, we have learned to clean and not to make a mess, to respect the work of others. And this year, unexpectedly for us, Kazan entered the top 5 of the cleanest cities in the world, according to Booking.com. Unexpectedly because we cannot influence these results in any way. You know what it is. People leave their impressions, reviews about the city. And first of all they write “cleanliness”. When it’s totally collected, Booking.com makes ratings. We entered the top 5 cleanest cities in Russia, it is worth a lot. We have worked on it and will continue to do so. I thank Kazan citizens for respecting the city, because without their attitude and love for Kazan there would not be such a result.
A.K.: You can still remember how bright the city was in the days of the championship, how many colors... And graffiti of world football stars appeared by the way.
I.M.: We planted a record number of flowers, for the first time. We discussed this with the President talking about 10 cities that host the World Championship. We first planted 7 million flowers. We made 12 thousand pots. It was chilly at first, but they bloomed later. The championship ended, but citizens enjoyed them in August-September, so we will continue to plant flowers.
A.K.: We have another call. Good evening.
Call: Mister Metshin, my name is Alfia, I heard that kindergartens were being renovated in the city. It is about time. Please remember about our kindergarten №288. Children should not be in such conditions.
I.M.: Good evening. I agree with you. Thank you for asking. We started the program after 130 schools in Kazan over 30 years old were overhauled under the presidential republican program. We now repair kindergartens. 19 are done, we will continue this work. In the first stage, we are doing repairs where we should have already done it yesterday. I marked it, kindergarten №288. We will check it and will try to answer. And we will get to your kindergarten.
I am grateful to our concerned residents who come to us, point us, because it is always a guideline in the work. The public reception office and the “People Control” are daily filled with wishes to improve a particular issue in the city.
A.K.: Our program is filled with questions as well. There are so many. For example: “Mister Metshin, my name is Ruzalia Nizamutdinova, Daurskaya Street, №25. I want to express my deep gratitude for the overhaul of the house, the repair of the local area, the arrangement of parking lots. Everything’s good, but the yard and the playground are dark. In 2017, we were promised to receive lights. A year has passed, and everything is the same”.
I.M.: Yes, amiss. Since there was a major overhaul, the house was renovated and the yard was made, of course, the playground should have lights. Therefore, we solve this issue.
There are no miracles, step by step.
A.K.: People have been waiting for a year...
I.M.: I agree, a year is a lot. It should not be like this. Moreover, when so much has already been done and the residents see it, we will fix it there.
A.K.: One more question. “Mister Metshin, I have already sent two letters to your name, but Kulyazhev answered that there are no funds and the plan is not provided. I offered to make a spiral staircase to the embankment after the Millennium Bridge. You can’t get to the embankment until you reach the NCC “Kazan”. Sincerely yours, Shamil Valeev, a fan of hiking. This is how he introduced himself.
I.M.: Thank you for the question, dear Shamil. The Millennium Bridge is such a serious infrastructure facility that we simply cannot attach a spiral staircase there. Maybe Igor Kulyazhev should have answered a little differently. But we will clarify. In general, we discussed it with the leadership of the republic, the Ministry of Transport, and colleagues from the government. Indeed, we need a bridge from Gorky Park to the other side. We will have a decision. But some kind of descent from the Millennium Bridge...
A.K.: A spiral staircase.
I.M.: Yes, a spiral staircase...
А.К.: After the Millennium Bridge
I.M.: But it's nice that they think, they suggest the spiral staircase. That's right, we need a pedestrian connection between Gorky Park and the side that goes to the “Riviera”.
А.К.: Then it will be a very, very difficult construction...
I.M.: Yes, in any case, we think about it.
A.K.: Mister Metshin, we will continue on our viewers’ questions. Rosa Khabibullina wrote: “Before the Universiade, there was a lot of talk about landscaping the city (we’ve already touched on this topic, yes), and now it's nothing. What, trees are not being planted?”
I.M.: Well, probably not. I think it is seen, but maybe not that obvious. Then, we counted: we had 300 thousand cars and 220 thousand large trees. It was a problem, we discussed it with you here on your show, with our business, with people. This year we planted 13 thousand large trees. I will not name the streets, I can’t remember them well. But since 2012, we planted 195 thousand large trees. Those are trees, which immediately take root, rustle with their leaves in the summer season. Therefore, a lot of work is being done. We have grown 20 new parks and squares. In general, according to the program of the President, we have grown 131 hectares of new squares and parks over these years. Today the area of planting is 375 hectares.
Our city is green. Russian standard is 25 square meters per person. We have 49 square meters in Kazan today. Therefore, we are twice as large as the standard and twice as green. And I hope you can see and feel this. We are continuing this work. Thank you for pointing us that we inform about it not enough apparently, but this work is our priority.
A.K.: Mister Metshin, let's talk about the New Year. Reveal the secret, are there any surprises?
I.M.: I hope, we meet it in a good mood, because there is a lot of work that is being done thanks to our industrial enterprises, business, working Kazan people. The year was not easy. We live in an open world, we see what is happening, and with the economy as well. But we have worked a lot, we have built. For a good New Year's mood, we have prepared 60 Christmas tree towns, which open up one after the other and create the atmosphere. A New Year program will be in parks and squares.
There were wishes, we heard them all, but it all depends on the financing. We have a new pedestrian promenade with our Italian partners, the longest, as they said, in their entire history, Bauman Street, the Kaban Lake, Bulak, and our main highways are decorated. But in general, 60 Christmas tree towns in Kazan will create an atmosphere. And I invite everyone to the opening. We made the central Christmas tree this year near the “Kazan” and an ice town. On December 27 at 4 pm, there will be a program, and Ded Moroz will come at 5 pm. We will call for him with Kazan citizens and the Snow Maiden.
A.K.: If you look in the next year, Mister Metshin, the main event for sure will be the WorldSkills Championship.
I.M.: Yes, definitely. We are hosting WorldSkills, a world-class event, and Kazan will again be talked about on a global level, I hope. We are waiting for 60 countries that will come with large teams and their own media. Again, they will tell about Russia and about Tatarstan.
А.К.: Long-stay effect ...
I.M.: Long-stay effect, yes. We will continue to overhaul the housing stock, social facilities, yards, streets, plant our city, repair kindergartens. As for the large infrastructure projects that I, as the mayor, have dreamed all 10 years, is the completion of the Big Kazan Ring. When we go to Pobedy Prospect, through Boriskovo, onto Tekhnicheskaya Street and to the plant “Krasny Vostok”. In 2021, people will be able to get from the Tankkovoe Ring to the River Port in 5-7 minutes. We unload the center.
We plan to finish cultural facilities: the HoC “Saidash”, “Said-Galiev”, the long-awaited one in Derbyshki, the “Chulpan” in the Privolzhsky district. On the instructions of the President, the National Library is currently being reconstructed, the NCC. In the foreseeable future, the Zoo will welcome visitors and new African animals, we hope.
Therefore, the plans are great. May God give us all health, a peaceful sky and an opportunity to continue our creative work.
A.K.: Mister Metshin, we just have a minute left. I wanted to ask about the world championship in skills. This would be a professional event or ...
I.M.: It will be a very interesting event. By the way, we hope that our best professional young masters will join the national team and the Russian team. And for the residents of Kazan and all those interested, we will have free shuttles to the “Expo”. Be sure to visit!
A.K.: That is, we can go...
I.M.: You can visit. This is an incredible event: 60 competencies, the best masters creating beautiful things before your eyes. We hope that this will also increase the respect and role of the working professions, and this is another step in our joint work.
A.K.: Mister Metshin, in conclusion, I should ask for New Year's greetings.
I.M.: You know, time flies frighteningly fast for me. Just two months ago, I was thinking of what to wish for our citizens in the coming year. Maybe because there are too many events in our city, in our republic, in our country. But 2019 is ahead.
Dear Kazan citizens, I want to thank you for the outgoing year, for the fact that we lived together, built, worked. In the new 2019, I wish to you, above all, good health, a peaceful sky over your head, happiness in every family, warmth and the all the best.
Happy holiday! Happy New 2019 Year!
A.K.: Thank you very much! I join these congratulations. Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan, was our guest today. Thanks to all our viewers for your attention. Goodbye! See you! Happy New Year!
I.M.: Happy New Year!