Almaty – always in the spotlight

March 28. Kazpravda

President Nursultan Nazarbayev chaired a meeting on the development of Almaty.

Almaty - always in the spotlightThe meeting tallied up socioeconomic development of the city in 2013, and discussed the plans ahead. Development of Almaty, a largest city in the country, N. Nazarbayev said, will always be in the spotlight. It should be abreast of Astana in the development pace and remain a hub of science, innovation and education.

– Almaty retains its leading role in economy, small and medium-sized businesses and urban development. With a growing population of the city, close to 1.5mn mark, we have to think about its environmental cleanliness. The number of cars is growing, which necessitates new approaches to the organization of transport. The built interchanges in recent years have much improved the traffic condition, – the President went on.

– There are also other development areas to be attended to, namely education, tourist and cultural sites, and above all – improvement of the population’s welfare.

Nazarbayev emphasized the need to apply best world practices in the traffic management and to comply with architectural requirements. The aesthetic appeal of Almaty has to be preserved, with the architectural designs basing on the seismic conditions of the city.

The President cited figures of the crime rate in Almaty: 53 000 crimes on record, 80% of which are not disclosed; juvenile delinquency rate is on the rise. The police staff was increased at the request of the city administration, but there are still 500 vacancies to be filled. The President instructed to ensure the safety of the residents and visitors of Almaty and brought to notice the road accidents, the number of which has trebled – up to 7000 cases, with many of them involving children and relatives of senior officials. Before the law all are equal and equally punishable for breaking it, Nazarbayev emphasized.

It was also noted that Almaty has to make a major contribution to the implementation of Kazakhstan -2050 Strategy. Main government programs are implemented in the city in the industrial-innovative development, employment, housing and utilities’ upgrade, healthcare and education.

Given the city’s multi-ethnicity, the President pointed to the need to pay more attention to the work of Kazakhstan People’s Assembly.

– Almaty takes up a special place in all the state programs. It is the cradle of our independence, and the presence of such a competitor to it as Astana is a positive factor too. The city largely contributes to the state budget, while the state invests heavily in the construction of various facilities and infrastructure in it. The city has good prospects and potential that need be tapped. Nazarbayev expressed confidence that it will continue to develop and remain the key metropolis.

In his progress report, the mayor of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yesimov stated growth in all the indicators, particularly in industry, transport, trade and services.

– Over the past five years the gross regional product has doubled to make 6.4 trillion tenge, which is about 27 000 dollars per capita, tax revenues made 1 trillion 360 billion tenge , which is 13% more on-year. The three focus areas are development of free economic zone in the Park of innovative technologies, the industrial zone in Alatau district and tourism. The President’s order to improve the environmental conditions and reduce the pollution of the city is under a close control, Yesimov said.

– Construction of the subway is going on, and in the current year, another two stations are to be launched – said the mayor. – In 2013, six interchanges were commissioned, another 3 are under construction, and design estimates for another four interchanges are to be ready this year. The city is actively preparing for the Universiade 2017. This year, construction starts of the Ice Palace of 12 000 seats starts, also of the ice arena of 3000 audience seats and an athletic village. All these facilities are to be ready by August 2016. Almaty is bidding for hosting the Winter Olympics in 2022.