Flood-affected Ulaanbaatar residents call for the Mayor’s support

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

It was reported that families in the 21st khoroo of Bayanzurkh District have become affected by water flooding from nearby Dambadarjaa Spring. Residents and the media have called for the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar to pay attention to this issue and assist affected families.
Around 40 families spent the winter near Dambadarjaa Spring and the Selbe River, but five families have reportedly moved away due to naturally caused flooding. At the moment, two gers have been flooded and pushed nearly to the road, and the water inside the gers has frozen due to cold weather.
A man who lived in one of the affected gers with his elderly mother and young daughter stated that the ger had already been affected by water damage when he returned from working in the countryside last December. He said that their furniture and electrical appliances remain inside the ger, because the grandmother and granddaughter weren’t strong enough to remove all the furniture in time by themselves. Currently, they are renting a nearby home and taking turns breaking the ice with a crowbar so that water inside the ger can leak out. He explained that it’s necessary to remove water inside the ger to prevent more water damage when the ice melts in spring. According to the resident, he bought his land for nine million MNT in 2014.
The 21st khoroo of Bayanzurkh District is known to be a permafrost area. People first received permission to own land and reside in this area in 2004, from T.Gandi, a candidate from Bayanzurkh District who had been running for the parliamentary election at the time. Out of some 40 families that set up gers in the permafrost area, 24 families are registered as 21st khoroo residents, and the rest are categorized as temporary residents, as reported by Mayor of 21st khoroo B.Narantsetseg. She noted that only around 10 families have land ownership certificates and that other families are unauthorized residents.
“It is stated in the law that people can’t live within a 200 meter radius of permafrost areas. Families are setting their gers within this radius after spreading cement and leveling the ground. These families don’t have any problems. However, those who can’t afford to spread cement before setting their ger are now being affected by water from springs,” stated B.Narantsetseg.
The mayor of the 21st khoroo noted that the office doesn’t have the legal right to forcefully make families move. Instead of forcefully chasing away residents, it warns them about potential flood threats and sends formal letters to clear the area once every spring and autumn, before it starts to rain. Last year, 39 families had reportedly been affected by naturally caused water damage, and emergency rescuers had to assist with the evacuation. The Property and Communications Department of Bayanzurkh District asked the 10 families with land ownership certificates to leave the permafrost area and offered safe land in the Gatsuurt area of the 20th khoroo, but the residents did not comply with the request.
A resident from one of the affected properties states that his family bought the land, even though he didn’t receive a land use permit or land ownership certificate, because the area was full of grass and seemed to have good soil. Apparently, he hadn’t been informed before the purchase that water comes out from underground and freezes during winter. He says that during the transaction, the person who sold him the land said that he would give him documents related to the land soon, but he hasn’t received the documents yet. The resident added, that when he contacted the agent to get a refund, the agent told him he could get his money back after winning a lawsuit. This is just one example, but it’s likely that there are other victims who have been deceived by purchasing land unauthorized for residence.
Statistics from the Emergency Services Department of Bayanzurkh District show that the department has received reports of flood and water damage near the west side of Dambadarjaa Springs and the eastern bank of the Selbe River for the last 10 years. The district has been taking many measures to aid and assist in the evacuation and resettlement of residents, and is building embankments and roads to drain water when they receive these types of report. Senior State Inspector L.Tserendavaa at the Emergency Services Department recommended that the city’s authorities discuss this issue at the national level and find a substantial solution that will prevent residents from facing any damages or loss from natural disasters.
Taking initiative at the national level for this issue is essential, but residents living in areas prone to natural disasters needs to consider moving to another area that is safer. Moving might be expensive, but it will certainly result in less damage to property. Not to mention, residents will not have to live in fear of the threat of natural disaster. It’s advisable that people moving to the capital from rural settlements be more careful when renting or buying land. Soon, ice will melt as the weather gets warmer and increase the risk of flooding. Effective measures need to be taken before then.

Source: news.mn

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18587

Posted by on Feb 26 2016. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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