Kazakh President Highlights Astana’s Development Challenges, Sets Priorities

Akim (mayor) of Astana Zhenis Kassymbek, First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar, Akim (governor) of Akmola Region Yermek Marzhikpayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Zulfiya Suleimenova, Minister of Agriculture Yerbol Karashukeyev, and Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Bagdat Mussin attended the meeting.

Tokayev noted that Astana has turned into a modern metropolis in 25 years. According to projections, the city population can exceed 1.5 million people in the coming years.

“This forecast was not fully taken into account when developing the master plan of the city. Of course, the rapid development of the capital is a positive development. However, at present, the urban social infrastructure faces serious pressure. Many problems have not been resolved for years, and residents know about this,” Tokayev said.

Reliability and efficiency of heat supply systems

Tokayev criticized relevant authorities for inaction when it comes to ensuring reliable heat supply to the capital for at least 10 years ahead. Tokayev said the last heating period in Astana witnessed a huge deficit of thermal capacities. Не instructed Kassymbek and the government to take adequate measures to bring heat sources and utility networks throughout the country into proper condition before the winter.

“Astana is growing rapidly, the load on engineering networks is steadily increasing. It is necessary to immediately decide on the construction of the second stage of thermal power plant (TPP)-3 and the third gas boiler house,” Tokayev said, instructing relevant bodies to submit appropriate proposals within a month.

Modernizing water supply systems

Tokayev urged the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources to take concrete measures and establish an effective water supply and sanitation system in the capital to avoid shortages of drinking water.

“Today the capital is completely dependent on the Astana reservoir. There are no other sources of water, which is extremely risky. It is important to urgently put in order the technical condition of the water reservoir,” the President said.

He instructed the government and the akimat (local administration) to start work on the construction of a water conduit from the Kanysh Satpayev canal to the city borders next year and search for alternative ways to provide Astana with water.

Regarding pollution of the Yessil River from treatment facilities, Tokayev instructed the akimat to expand the Karabidaiyk storage lake by the end of next year and control wastewater discharges.

Orderly urban construction

Dilapidated houses and problematic shared construction projects were also a key focus of the meeting. Tokayev outlined the need to strengthen control and restore order in the industry.

“It is necessary to complete the construction of 16 shared housing facilities this year. This issue must be fully resolved by the end of 2023. In the future, such cases should be prevented,” he highlighted.

He prioritized the balanced development of Astana to provide comfortable living conditions and noted the maintenance and proper development of the old part of the city – the right bank of the Yessil River, which “has its own charisma.”

“Investors should demolish emergency facilities, relocate residents to other buildings, and build new houses on vacant plots. The akimat, for its part, should create the necessary conditions for them. It is necessary to develop urban engineering infrastructure, build roads and social facilities. By joint efforts it will be possible to solve the problem of emergency and dilapidated housing,” he said.

Single architectural image of the capital

It is necessary to take effective measures to form a single architectural image of Astana, said Tokayev.

“It is important to remember that urban planning is primarily an art, and, of course, the country’s reputation. Modern attractive buildings, thoughtfully planned streets and comfortable landscaped courtyards are integral components of the high quality of life of citizens,” he said.

Tokayev reiterated his instructions to improve the embankment of the Yessil River, the territory of the EXPO and other areas of the city and develop a new vision with local and world experts and urbanists.

“Greening the city is of great importance, we have problems with this in Astana. There are not enough green spaces even on Mangilik El Avenue [city’s main avenue], never mind other streets. It is necessary to move away from the practice of planting seasonal plants and plant perennials instead. It is important to take into account the harsh climate of the capital, use the potential of the scientific community and the best world experience,” Tokayev said, assigning tasks to present a holistic and balanced vision of the city’s development in the new master plan of Astana.

Improving quality of life

Astana residents should have equal access to the city’s infrastructure – education and health facilities, culture and sports, as well as parks and public spaces. This is a basic condition for creating a comfortable and favorable living environment for all citizens, according to the President.

Tokayev instructed to build a third multidisciplinary hospital and new educational institutions, including a pedagogical university and 15 additional education facilities in Astana.

“To build a just society, it is extremely important to ensure the harmonious and comprehensive development of the younger generation. Therefore, education in schools should be inclusive, accessible to all children, regardless of their social status,” he said.

Tokayev also instructed to improve internet accessibility, develop transport infrastructure and adopt a separate document that takes into account the opinions of the residents of the agglomeration and the needs of the city.

“It is important to ensure effective interaction between akimats, maslikhats (local representative bodies) and public councils of Astana and neighboring regions. It is necessary to address existing disparities in the development of Astana and the metropolitan regions, especially in the social sphere, at the system level. We need to strive to improve the quality of life in the settlements and make them comfortable for everyone,” he said.

According to Tokayev, it is necessary to establish effective and high-quality management for the sustainable development of a large city like Astana. In general, the city needs a reliable partnership between the akimat, entrepreneurs and local residents.

“The Astana mayor should improve the situation in the city in one year. Your work will be under my personal control. You will be given all the help you need. However, the results of the work depend only on you. I wish you success,” Tokayev said addressing Kassymbek.

Photo credit: Akorda

Source: The Astana Times