Co-subsidized programs seen as a pledge for rapid development of communities - PM pays working visit to Gegharkunik
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan paid a working visit to Gegharkunik Marz of Armenia, where he inspected progress in the implementation of state-subsidized programs underway in a number of communities.
The Premier’s visit started in Lchashen village, where the local Manchuk kindergarten is being renovated through the government’s subvention program. The activities carried out so far were reported to the Prime Minister during his tour of the kindergarten. The Premier was told that there used to be only three groups of children attending the kindergarten before the program: some parents couldn’t afford to take their children to the kindergarten. The new facility will be able to host an extra group of 40 children after renovation and enlargement.
The project is at the final stage of implementation: it will be complete by the end of this October. The project cost is 18 million drams, 65% of which was provided by the government, 35% - by the Lchashen municipality.
Marz Governor Gnel Sanosyan noted that the kindergarten’s courtyard was improved under an emergency program in 2018, financed by the Government of Armenia. Altogether, 7 subvention projects were implemented in Lchashen in 2019 and 2020: intra-community roads have been asphalted; a secondary street lighting network has been installed and other infrastructure development programs have been realized.
Gandzak village was the Prime Minister’s next port of call. Nikol Pashinyan was told that Baghranyan Street had been asphalted and the downtown square renovated in Gandzak through state funding. The road building activities started late last year and will be completed this September. The road is 2 km long; the asphalted area is 13000 square meters. About 60% of construction is already complete. The total project cost is 307.750 million drams. The central square is being rehabilitated as part of a 14.5 million dram-worth subsidy program.
Construction began 2 weeks ago. A new lighting system will be installed in the square; the area will be landscaped; benches will be installed; the passages will be tiled; the riverbed near the square will be rebuilt.
Nikol Pashinyan also called at the 9th-century Surb Gevorg church in downtown Gandzak. He walked in the churchyard and was presented the background history of the church.
The Prime Minister next headed to Tsovasar village, which is going to have a kindergarten for the first time ever with the help of a subvention program under implementation. Details about the project were presented to the Prime Minister during his tour of the construction site. Launched in 2019, the project is due to be completed by this yearend.
The project has a contract value of 203 million drams, 65% of which was provided by the government and 35% - by Tsovasar municipality. The newly built kindergarten will host 100 children in 4 groups. The project is 50-60% complete at this point of time.
The Governor of Gegharkunik Marz noted that the Tsovasar subsidy program has 3 important components: first, the community will have a kindergarten for the first time; second, the project is co-financed by the state, the community and community investors; third, the local population is involved in construction activities.
In this connection, the Prime Minister emphasized: “This was the best component of our subsidy programs that we used, where in fact there are 3 parties involved in it - the community, the government, and the local investors. This will have a multiplier effect, because if the community did a separate job, it would be a small-scale job, the government, depending on the benefactors, would take it, but not on a very large scale. And when the three entities join, there is already a tangible capital product, which is not only a building, but a very serious, significant contribution to our children and the rising generation.”
The Prime Minister next called at Lichk, Vardenik and Artsvanist communities, where subvention and state-supported programs are underway to carry out capital repairs and asphalting of intra-community roads. Prime Minister Pashinyan inspected the ongoing activities, talked to those involved in the project asking about the quality of work and working conditions.
The programs envisage asphalting of intra-community roads with a total length of 1800m. The contract value of the project is about 82 million drams, 60% of which was provided by the government, 40% - by the Litchk municipality. Construction will be completed in the coming months.
A total of 6 km of intra-community road is being asphalted in Vardenik. The total project cost stands at about 290 million drams, 60% of which was provided by the government, 40% - by Vardenik municipality. 12 streets shall be asphalted under the program.
Intra-community roads in Artsvanist are being asphalted through state-supported and subvention programs. First, the Prime Minister inspected the construction of a new spring water supply pipeline to a total cost of 22.292 million drams. 70% of the cost is covered by the government and 30% - by the Artsvanist municipality.
The total cost of asphalting activities is 56.196 million drams, 60% of which was provided by the government and 40% - by the Artsvanist municipality. Subvention programs are already being completed. The Prime Minister was told that for the first time the 3.3-kilometer intra-community road leading to Artsvanist’s Vanevan Monastery has been overhauled.
Built in the early Middle Ages, the Vanevan monastery complex is an important historical and cultural monument, and the improvement of inter-community infrastructure will help boost Artsvashen’s tourist attraction. The project’s estimated cost is 451 million drams. The Prime Minister called at the church in the Vanevan monastery complex and praised the quality of the work done at the site.
Prime Minister Pashinyan met with the residents in all communities, talked to them about community development programs, and answered a number of questions. Referring to the subvention programs, Nikol Pashinyan noted that communities are participating owing to the taxes paid by the locals. The more responsibly taxes are paid, the more income the community will generate.
“We adopted the following policy in 2018: subvention is the main tool to ensure balanced territorial development, but experience has shown that only large or enlarged communities can generate the necessary resources. The enlargement process should continue, so that people could see the results.
I am not saying that people’s lives have turned upside down, but if we build roads that have never existed, or have not been repaired for 30-40 years, a kindergarten that has never been before, we must push ahead step by step on this way. We are still facing the global pandemic. If we promote the idea of trilateral subsidies, the development of communities will move forward at a much faster pace,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The Premier’s working visit to Gegharkunik ended with tours of construction sites on the Tsovagyugh-Shorzha-Vardenis interstate highway.
The Prime Minister first got acquainted with the results of repair works on the 12.5 km long Areguni-Tsapatagh road. The road had never been asphalted before: it was renovated for the first time in 2019.
AMD 1.457 billion has been allocated from the state budget to this end. The groundwork and a two-layer concrete pavement was built to a total length of about 11 km, asphalt pavement was installed on the remaining 1.5 km. Nikol Pashinyan expressed satisfaction with the work done, emphasizing that the Areguni-Tsapatagh road is located on the eastern shore of Lake Sevan, and therefore, it is of strategic importance for Sevan’s balanced development.
The Prime Minister noted in this regard: “Last year we formulated the idea that all the roads around Lake Sevan should be in good condition, but Sevan is not developing as harmoniously as we would have expected. It is overcrowded in some areas, while there are wonderful places in other parts, which remain underdeveloped due to the road. We have set a task: the road around Lake Sevan must be overhauled and refurbished.”
The Prime Minister next visited the construction site of a 20-kilometer road section on the eastern shore of Lake Sevan, where repair works are nearing completion. The M-14, M-4-Shorzha-Vardenis road from 19 + 450 km to 39 + 400 km is being reconstructed. The estimated cost of the program is 2.629 billion drams.
The Prime Minister noted that the reconstruction of the mentioned section on the east shore of Lake Sevan is the biggest project of this year, it fits into the logic adopted by the government.
“The project to build a high-quality road around Lake Sevan will be completed next year. The preconditions for economic revolution have been laid here. Wildlife is completely different in the area extending from Tsapatagh to Vardenis, and we must introduce a new investment culture here, which must go beyond the logic of bistros and should comply with needs of ecotourism. Even a single tree, a single bush should not be damaged. This is the heart of the resort area, it is warm and clean. We have an opportunity to avoid the imminent catastrophe on the Peninsula,” Nikol Pashinyan said, highlighting the steps taken to change the culture of public beaches.
In conclusion of his visit, the Premier called at the 7 km-long section of the Shorzha-Tsovagyugh inter-community road. The Prime Minister inspected the ongoing rehabilitation activities. The regional administration representatives reported that the road was being repaired considering the failures and shortcomings recorded during the previous repairs. Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for doing quality work.