Increase in birth rate and land shortage lead to a shortage of places in schools in Kazan

A growth of migration from villages and other regions of Russia contributed to the process

Increase in birth rate and land shortage lead to a shortage of places in schools in Kazan
Photo: kzn.ru

In the capital of Tatarstan, there is lack of more than 31,100 places in schools, almost 63% of educational buildings exceed the design capacity. The deficit is felt not only in suburban settlements, but also in 30 microdistricts. To solve the problem this year, the city authorities plan to open 8 kindergartens, 1 school and 32 outbuildings, as well as to increase the number of school bus routes that bringing students from the villages to the city. How much money has been allocated this year for major repairs of buildings, when the replacement of elevators finishes, which is poisoning the air of Kazan — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

City authorities are not keeping up with the growth in birth rate

The head of the Executive Committee of Kazan, Rustem Gafarov, said that the problem with social infrastructure, especially with children's institutions, is relevant not only for suburban settlements. In Kazan itself, more than 31,000 additional places in schools are required. The shortage is particularly acute in 18 old microdistricts (30 in total), where there is almost no municipal land left, and in new buildings.

The head of the Department of Education, Irek Rizvanov, attributed this to the influx of people moving to the capital of Tatarstan from the regions of the republic and other regions of the country and an increase in the birth rate. If in 2005, there were 11,000 newborns, then in 2020 — almost 20,000. The peak of the baby boom occurred in 2015 and 2016, when 24,000 and 24,500 children were born, respectively.

The number of schoolchildren is also increasing: in 2005, there were 110,000 of them, and now — 140,000 people. This year, 9,500 more children start school than a year earlier. The shortage of places in educational institutions is more than 31,100, the design capacity of 125 schools, or almost 63% of buildings, is exceeded. New schools are needed in the residential complexes Novye Gorki, Art City, Izumrudny Gorod, MChS, Solnechny Gorod, as well as on the Minskaya, Adelya Kutuya, Gvardeyskaya streets.

Irek Rizvanov attributed this to the influx of people moving to the capital of Tatarstan from the regions of the republic and other regions of the country and an increase in the birth rate. Photo: kzn.ru

“Although Kazan is the leader among cities with millions of inhabitants, with the exception of Moscow and St. Petersburg, in the construction of schools and kindergartens — since 2009, 23 schools and 118 kindergartens have been built in the city — unfortunately, even intensive construction cannot yet catch up with the population growth rate. The problem of lack of places can be partially solved by building new facilities, repairing existing ones and opening new groups.”

8 kindergartens and 1 school are to be built this year

The head of the Department of Education announced the commissioning this year of eight kindergartens for 1,690 places — including in Konstantinovka, Leto residential complex, and 7 Nebo residential complex. On September 1, residents of the Art City residential complex (its capacity is 1,500 people) will go to the new school, and the gymnasium in Salavat Kupere with 1,224 places will also work at full capacity. Another school of the same capacity is currently under construction there. Besides, it is planned to build 32 extensions to the existing school buildings. They will accommodate both classrooms and kitchen units.

In suburban settlements, the problem is complicated by that many families do not have a residence permit there, so official data do not reflect the real picture, says Rizvanov. Besides, many parents are not focused on teaching their children in local schools, they prefer to take them to the city. At the moment, 34 bus routes are organised, which daily transport 700 children from villages to city schools. There are eight more school routes lacking, and there is a shortage of buses.

“Creating new routes is not an easy task. It is necessary to have the conclusion of road services, competent study of the traffic scheme, additional infrastructure. For example, not everywhere there are driveways, pavilions of stops," the head of Department of Education emphasised.

“Everything will be built, but it will take time," Gafarov said. Photo: kzn.ru

The head of the Executive Committee of Kazan assured that the number of school bus routes will increase, and the problem with the lack of places in children's institutions will be addressed. He complained that Kazan is not allocated the same funding as Moscow or St. Petersburg, but promised to participate in all regional and federal projects. “Everything will be built, but it will take time," Gafarov said.

2.8bn rub allocated for overhaul

Good news for residents of old houses: this year, more than 2,8 billion rubles have been allocated for the implementation of the programme of major repairs of the housing stock in Kazan. This amount of funding is comparable only to 2013, when the city needed to be urgently put in order before the Universiade. According to Chairperson of the Housing and Utilities Committee Dmitry Anisimov, this will allow to repair 295 houses: 224 houses with a height of 5 to 16 floors and 71 low-rise buildings. In 186 of them, the roof will be repaired, in 146 — the utility networks of heat supply will be replaced, in 133 — facades will be repaired, in 59 -elevators will be changed.

The first auction for the construction and installation works under the programme started on 5 April. The next ones are scheduled for April 12, 14 and 19. They will offer contracts for the implementation of repairs in 163 apartment buildings. The contract with Liftstroykompaniya for 420 million rubles to replace 170 lifts was signed already in November. At the moment, it is 80% completed, and the work will be fully finished by the end of April. Anisimov stressed that vandal-proof, energy-saving lifts of domestic manufacturers, equipped with buttons with Braille, are installed in the houses.

Rustem Gafarov called for establishing a close relationship between contractors and their senior tenants.

“So that residents do not look for them, so that they do not hide from the residents. Residents as owners have the full right to participate and control the progress of the work. Contractors must also understand that most of the funds for the implementation of this programme are public money. Therefore, the residents are their main customer.”

Currently, the issue of recultivation of the Samosyrovskaya landfill and equipping it with an active degassing system within the framework of the federal project Clean Country is being addressed. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Samosyrovskaya landfill will be equipped with a degassing system

The residents of Kazan and the suburbs were most concerned about the untimely removal of waste from container sites, the discharge of sewage into reservoirs, the suffocating smell, the storage of snow on the territory of courtyards, the illegal filling of ravines with construction debris. The head of the Central Territorial Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Tatarstan, Radik Nazmutdinov, said that over the past year, 3,777 citizens' appeals have been received, 150 of them through the People's Control system (Narodny Kontrol).

Twenty-four complaints about unauthorised landfills remained unresolved due to that the districts do not have funding for this. Nazmutdinov recommended that the funds from the collected fines, fees for negative environmental impact, and the tax on the extraction of common minerals be used for this purpose.

The Central Territorial Administration of the Ministry of Ecology conducted more than 1,400 inspections, revealed more than 1,200 violations, 96% of which were eliminated. A little less than 1,100 protocols were drawn up, and fines of 8,2 million rubles were imposed.

Four hundred and ninety-eight appeals of citizens concerned the air quality — especially the one that came from the Vostochny landfill. A mobile group of residents was created to signal such cases, and environmentalists were also on duty. By the results of the inspection, the cause of the stench was identified — this is a technological procedure for irrigation of the landfill surface. Currently, the issue of recultivation of the Samosyrovskaya landfill and equipping it with an active degassing system within the framework of the federal project Clean Country is being addressed.

Chief ecologist of Kazan complained that not all appeals are responded to by district administrations. Photo: kzn.ru

Nazmutdinov noted that another long-standing problem is being solved — the reclamation of silt fields at the wastewater treatment plants in Kazan. At the moment, the engineering and survey works have been carried out, a positive expert opinion has been received, and the design and estimate documentation has been developed.

During the year, 624 illegal landfills were identified, 564 of them were liquidated. The chief ecologist of Kazan complained that not all appeals are responded to by district administrations and recalled that due to the snowy winter the ministry allowed to organise temporary additional places for storing snow, but they now need to be cleared. For example, an unfavourable situation developed on Kosmonavtov St., 44-46, Akhtyamova Street behind the Agropark, and Adelya Kutuya Street, 86.

By Eleanora Rylova
Tatarstan