There is an ancient saying: “Crying baby gets the milk!”(The squeaky wheel gets the grease). However, in the case of the Aresh district in the suburbs of Stepanakert, even this folk wisdom does not work.
The people of Aresh have repeatedly voiced their concerns, but they have remained as “voice in the wilderness”. There are many private houses, some of which are provided for the families with many children, but they are devoid of basic living conditions. The district has begun to be built in 2005-2006. Over time, the district has grown, and the problems, too. From the outset there was a problem of creating infrastructures: the district is still lacking sewer lines, gasification, telephony, it is not asphalted, external illumination is partially made, the transport works with interruptions. Rafael Hayriyan, a resident of the district, expresses his dissatisfaction: ‘I live in Aresh since 2007. When I started building the house, there was even no water. I've been living here for 12 years, there are many problems, the worst of which is the problem of sewerage, and it’s embarrassing. We pay twice for gas: we have to buy gas from the gas station. The issue of transportation is also acute for us. We live a bit deeper in the district, and the buses do not enter the district, and we often have to use the taxi service’.
Resident of the same district Rima Khachatryan:” We started building the house in 2011 and finished it in 2017. We loved this place very much in terms of the area, so we started building this house. Unfortunately, the problems here are numerous. I have 3 children, and every morning we get to school with difficulty. There is even no bus stop here. It is unbearable to wait for the bus on a rainy or sunny weather’.
Edgar Avanesyan, Head of Industrial Infrastructure Division of Stepanakert City Hall informs: “Indeed, residents announce their complaints about the discharge of household wastewater and gasification every year. I must say with regret that at this moment we do not have any capital construction plan. At the expense of community funds only current works are carried out. The budget doesn’t support basic works”. Therefore, the urban community does not have the opportunity to implement these programs in 2019 either. We asked the Ministry of Urban Development and also the State Minister for cooperation on Aresh and Ajapnyak districts, but no such programs have been processed yet”.
While the municipality directs the vectors to the Ministry of Urban Development, the latter, in the face of Deputy Minister Georgy Hayriyan, emphasizes: ‘The district was built without any infrastructure solutions. If these issues were included in the major project in time, we would not be forced to make tremendous efforts. At present, we have an order for a sewer system project for the Aresh district, which has two parts. The total value of the project is around 150 million drams. The project will also include new land plots where, by the way, there is no infrastructure, no electricity and no water, but the municipality continues to sell these territories in such conditions. The government has approved that sewerage lines will be launched in 2020. A gasification project is also ordered, but it should be reviewed due to the change in gas prices. The previous gasification calculation was 50 million drams. In 2019, there have been discussions on this issue, but it has not yet been considered a priority. Hopefully, it will be among the priority issues next year. As for water supply, the water supply project in Stepanakert is over, and the municipality has applied for providing the new land plots with water just a week ago. And now, a main plan for those lands should be drawn up and these issues should be solved. The roads are being graveled from time to time but the municipality must take responsibility for solving those issues. We are just a department implementing programs’.
It becomes obvious that it is difficult to open this tangle. It’s much more reassuring that at least in small steps, however, the work started to move.
The residents of the Aresh district should only be armed with patience, faith, and anticipation that their problems left to uncertain times will be solved someday.