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Ulaanbaatar roads to be cleaned with vehicles from 2013

By M.ZOLJARGAL

The roads along the suburbs of our capital city have been lagging behind in terms of repair and cleaning since the Maintenance Service Companies were privatized. Below is an interview with D.Enkhsaikhan, the Director of the City Maintenance Authority (CMA), Ulaanbaatar Governor Service.

-It’s been four months since you have been appointed to your current position. A long time has passed since the winter started in our country and yet both roads and pedestrian pavements are covered in ice which make them hard to proceed safely. Garbage is scattered everywhere when the new year awaits us. What do you think about this?
-Since my promotion I have done a lot of work. Garbage issues were in a very alarming state when I was appointed as the maintenance companies didn’t perform their jobs on time and ger district citizens littered quite a lot in ravines. Thus, our authority has chosen waste transportation companies which passed the tender and those companies have been taking garbage from ravines and households to the central waste disposal spots since November 1. It showed some promising progress as 30-35 thousand tons of garbage used to be disposed at waste disposal sites before, but it increased to 73 thousand tons a month. This is quite an improvement and I’m sure that city citizens are aware of the result. Ulaanbaatar has several issues connected to snow and ice but the National Agency for Meteorology, Hydrology and Environmental Monitoring started the service of snow watchmen. These men spray salt on major junctions in the centre of the city – though they freeze at night and cause skidding. Generally, the road conditions in winter have improved in our city in comparison with previous years.
-The Ulaanbaatar City Mayor, E.Bat-Uul said: “The maintenance officials are regularly cleaning the roads which high ranking officials pass and leave those roads that ordinary citizens use daily.” Is it true?
-Our CMA is responsible for cleaning the roads of Peace Avenue, Ikh Toiruu, Sun Bridge and the road from Tavan Shar to Officerc’ Palace. Six district maintenance authorities are in charge of other areas.
-Citizens have been critical of poor performance of Maintenance Service companies after privatization. Does CMA demand the companies do their work properly?
-We warn them to perform proper work on time though they must clean their appointed areas without demand. But it is problematic to influence those companies as they got privatized. Therefore, a working group headed by the director of the Ulaanbaatar Property Relations Agency conducted inspections at maintenance companies in accordance with the ordinance of Ulaanbaatar City Mayor, E.Bat-Uul from October 1. The result of the inspection will be discussed at the Governor’s Meeting.
-Do you think it was right to privatize maintenance companies which belonged to the state?
-The maintenance companies worked under contract from 2003-2008 and got privatized in 2008 as the city administrators believed the service would be enhanced once their management improved with private organizations. I don’t know whether it was the right decision or not. But I think these maintenance companies must keep their word which they pledged when being privatized. When we try to dismiss or appoint other promising officials in those companies, it is impossible to control or interfere with private companies’ operation and their human resource issues. Such a paradox in the system is still there. But we are conducting orderly works now and the inspection was one them.
-Is it possible to take back companies to the state when they had been privatized?
-The companies have signed ten-year contracts with the Ulaanbaatar City Governor in 2008. Numerous issues regarding this are under discussion. If the companies have violated the contract and didn’t fulfill their duties, it would be possible to take them back to the state.
-You have mentioned that the CMA imposes certain demands for maintenance service companies.But is it responsible for spraying salt on roads?
-No, District Governors must be in charge of such issues.
-The district governors order the companies to clean the roads and squares or spray salt or substances on the roads. But those companies mostly ignore their orders or demands as they became private companies. Actually, the state allocates a certain amount of funds towards maintenance companies which proves they must perform a far greater service.
-What kind of substances should be sprayed at roads to prevent ice accumulation?
-Only Sodium Chloride.
- I saw officials covering ger district roads with gravel after heavy snow. Is it possible then?
-It is really hard to handle heavy snow. When we spray sodium chloride at roads, the ice and snow melt immediately and freeze so quickly. Therefore we are spraying the mixture of sodium chloride and gravel.
-How much money does the State Fund allocates to CMA every year?
-Each year, 2-3 billion MNT is budgeted for CMA and we use it for Central Waste Disposal Sites, the elimination of stray dogs and cats and for the cleaning of roads.
-The citizens complain that maintenance companies regularly take and deliver the waste of offices but take the waste of ger districts, especially high areas, only once a month. They say it is even typical for them to not come for a few months. Waste in ravines is never transported to disposal sites according to them. Thus, the information you gave doesn’t match the information from citizens. What would you say about this?
-We provided the permission and funds to currently operating maintenance companies after they have a thorough inspection. Thus, we have divided all ger districts in Ulaanbaatar into 18 areas and those companies are obligated to keep clean conditions at their appointed areas. Waste in ravines and household garbage in high places must all be transported regularly as others. We can see progress now, but all the waste of Ulaanbaatar cannot be removed in a month.
-Where there are people there is waste, but it seems landfills are the most outdated method. Buried waste is absorbed into soil which we walk on. It evaporates into air which we breathe. Will the usage of this method continue further?
-We are working to establish two Waste Recycling Plants in Tsagaandavaa within 2013. The executor company will be Organic Solution Mongolia. Until 2020, Mongolia will use the landfill method, but once the recycling plants go operational the waste buried in land will be decreased by 40%.
-What other plans does CMA have in 2013?
-There are many. From spring 2013, a new system which sweeps and cleans the road with designated vehicles will be used in our country. The state budgeted 3.9 billion MNT for this system.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=2321

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