(KZN.RU, December 26, Alsu Safina). The traditional pre-New Year meeting of Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan, with representatives of the federal, republican and city mass media took place today in the City Hall. For an hour and a half, journalists asked numerous questions about important for the development of the city objects and aspects of the urban economy. Those were road construction, Moscow-Kazan High-Speed Railway, the cathedral mosque, the adoption of the General Plan, the opening of the Zoo, the increase in public transport fares, and others. The meeting also summarized the outgoing 2018 and announced plans for the next year.
Opening the meeting, Ilsur Metshin summed up the year. The Mayor called 2018 difficult and tense, and at the same time filled with great positive emotions about the FIFA World Cup. “Since 2013, when the Universiade was held, this is the most emotional and grandiose year”, said the Mayor. “The World Cup has taken place in our country for the first time, and we held it very decently”. The head of the city reminded that Kazan received the highest rating from Gianni Infantino, the President of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA).
Along with this, 2018 was a record year for the number of completed works. Thus, the overhaul of the housing stock and polyclinics continues. 122 roads were overhauled. Also, 60 settlement roads were repaired, including three passes to gardeners' partnerships and 432 yards. “Even compared to the last record year, we have grown by 20% in terms of the number of repaired yards and roads”, said Ilsur Metshin.
This year 3 schools were opened. “Excluding Moscow, Kazan is in the first place in terms of the number of social infrastructure facilities introduced over the last 10 years”, said I. Metshin. “This year, three new schools have been opened, including in the micro-district “Salavat Kupere”.
The three-year program to repair children's summer camps has been adopted, it starts in 2019.
Among other significant changes in the city, there are an opening of the metro station “Dubravnaya”, the completion of improvement of the first stage of the Kaban Lake, the HoC Lenin now work full time. The boulevard on Fuchik Street, the square “Belye Tsvety”, the Festivalny Boulevard, the square and the slope near the NCC “Kazan” were landscaped in 2018. The work near the NCC “Kazan” has not been completed yet. The GC “TAIF” plans to build a children's park along with the multi-level parking next year. In general, the area of green zones in Kazan has increased by 131 hectares.
The city authorities have big plans for 2019 as well. In particular, the work will continue in the Center of Culture “Saidash”, HoC Said-Galiev the “Derbyshki”, and the center “Chulpan” in the Privolzhsky district. According to the Mayor of Kazan, the overhaul of houses of culture was made possible thanks to the support of Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of the RT. “10 years ago, it seemed an impossible dream to me, it was hopelessness. I thought that I, as the Mayor, would never see something like this”, Ilsur Metshin admitted to journalists. Next year, the overhaul will come to the HoC “Zheleznodorozhnikov” in Yudino, which celebrated its 100th anniversary. In addition, an ice palace of sports is being built in Yudino, and an updated memorial complex will be ready by May 9.
An important event was the decision to complete the construction of a Big Kazan Ring. “From the “Solnexhny Gorod” through Boriskovo onto Tekhnicheskaya Street to the “Krasny Vostok”. We have done Magistralnaya Street. It will be possible to reach the River Port From the Tnkovoe Ring in 10 minutes”, said I. Metshin. “This is a global project that will be implemented under the program “Safe Roads” in conjunction with the federal center. The project is planned to be implemented in the next two years”.
In 2019, it is planned to adopt the General Plan of Kazan. Ilsur Metshin reminded that this did not happen this year because of changes in federal legislation. The head of the city thanked Kazan citizens for their active participation in the discussion of this important document. There were productive proposals. “The more verified the document, the more correctly it will predetermine the development of Kazan for the next decade”, believes Ilsur Metshin.
Responding to a question about the planned increase in fares for public transport, I. Metshin said that it is inevitable.
“We are still the only city in the Volga region that carries beneficiaries in all types of public transport. We were given the example of Samara (where they ride in our old red buses). Only 430 or 470 out of 1100 buses carry preferential categories of citizens, while the rest have the unregulated tariffs”, said I. Metshin. “The tariff, fuel, and salaries have not increased for three years. Today we lack 250 drivers. 520 out of 870 drivers are visitors from neighboring countries. At the same time, we are not the most expensive city for the price of travel”.
Media representatives asked about the fate of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed highway. “Any large projects are born in dreams and ideas, then get worked through”, said the Mayor. “Everything has its time. Do we need this road? Of course, we do. The more quality rail air, road, and water connections there are, the more alive the economy is. Everything costs money, so we cannot say for our colleagues in the government if there is enough money. No one said that there won’t be the road. So far, doubts have been expressed, but only in its necessity at the present time”.
Answering the question about the fate of the metro, I. Metshin noted that the second metro line is being designed in the direction of Sovetsky district, Azino, the Kompressorny factory. “The General Plan secures the station’s space. The pace of construction will depend on the economy, budget possibilities of the republic”, said I. Metshin.
Journalists have not missed the “garbage” subject and the construction of an incinerator. Ilsur Metshin reminded that the analysis of publications in the media during the World Cup showed that fans and journalists from around the world point out that Kazan is the cleanest city.
According to the head of the city, separate garbage collection is one of the most overwhelming issues, not for financial, but for mental reasons. “The hardest thing is to change habits. If you have been holding a spoon in your right hand all your life and now they say “hold it in your left now”, it's hard to change”, Ilsur Metshin gave an example. “There is no one to take after an example in Russia, we will be a pilot city and the first to go this road. Let's start with the children in the schools so that they teach their parents this”.
Creating an infrastructure for separate collection of garbage is a big road. “There is no magical way. The order won’t be restored unless every person starts with himself. My family started putting PET bottles separately. We do this for the third year”, said the Mayor. “Unless each family starts to separate PET bottles, food, and other waste, we will not move anywhere. This is obvious”.
“I believe in our citizens, in their internal culture and in the desire to live in the cleanest and most comfortable city. By combining efforts, we will do it”, added Ilsur Metshin.
He also noted that it is important to extract recycled materials as much as possible. “This is a big task, another challenge for us”, said the head of the city. “No one will do it for us”.
Journalists recalled that many residents of the city are eagerly awaiting the opening of a new zoo “Zambezi River”. “The majority of work has been done. Unfortunately, the general contractor did overrate the strength”, replied the Mayor. “Now there is another contractor, we hope everything will be finished in the new year. Animals are purchased, some are still in Africa”.
A question was asked about the construction of the largest mosque, in particular, where it will be located and who finance it. “Together with the Muslim Religious Board of the RT, we are looking for a place, there are several options. The decision is up to believers and the Board. Together, we would like it to be a worthy place for the cathedral mosque”, replied the Mayor. “How will it be built? By the whole world, every little bit helps”.
There were some personal questions. For example, Ilsur Metshin had a question about his dreams. “I wish only for the peaceful sky, the rest we can manage”, believes the Mayor. “I understand that in such a turbulent world, the most expensive and valuable thing is peace. We should take care of the relationship between each other, friendship. This is the biggest dream. The rest is perceived from the passed way. There are no unsolvable problems, for some things we need time, for other we need money. Sometimes it is both time and money”.
The journalists asked about the possibility of holding the Olympic Games in Kazan. “If a decision is made on the Olympic Games, it will most likely be like in the Soviet Union, when the Olympics were hosted by Moscow, Leningrad, and the Baltics. Kazan along with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi are among the most prepared cities”, noted the Mayor.
Ilsur Metshin was asked a question about his music preferences, what music his children listened to, and whether teenagers should be forbidden to listen to certain performers. “I try to instill good taste in my children, that is, it won’t be necessary to forbid anything”, believes the Mayor. “Sometimes the eldest or middle give me a ride, I like the music they listen to in the car. I don’t ask what it is though. As for the younger one, when it’s possible, we sing the same songs in karaoke on vacation”.
At the end of the press conference, the Mayor of Kazan congratulated journalists on the upcoming New Year and invited to the opening of the central city Christmas tree on December 27 at the Family Center “Kazan”.