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To make Russia great again, Putin is building roads and bridges - Report

Infra News - Published on Fri, 15 Mar 2019

Image Source: The Christian Science Monitor
CS Monitor reported that two remote villages in Russia’s poorest republic – Tuva, near the Mongolian border in distant Siberia – spent four months out of 12 cut off from direct access to civilization. During those months, when spring thaws and the slow autumn freeze made it impossible to cross the broad Yenisei River by ferry or ice bridge, the 2,000 or so people living there sometimes went hungry. If there was a medical emergency, the only option was evacuation by helicopter. But last year, a Ministry of Defense construction brigade built them a solid bridge, ending the community’s historic isolation and enabling residents to drive into the regional center of Kyzyl in about half an hour at any time of year.

Mr Chechek Targan, deputy chair of the formerly cutoff Kara-Khaak settlement, said that llocal people were over the moon about their new bridge, said that reached by telephone. He said that “This was our dream. We used to have trouble getting food deliveries in off-season; now we eat fresh bread every day. Life is definitely better.”

However, some economists criticize the plans as throwing money – which Russia has plenty of these days – at problems without a coherent, long-term economic strategy. Others warn that it smacks of Soviet-style central planning and risks the dysfunctional outcomes that system often produced. Still others say that, as ambitious as they sound, the plans are just a drop in the bucket, given Russia’s immense expanse and crushing infrastructure needs. But few deny that changes are actually happening and opening up new possibilities across the country, from that new bridge in Siberia to the restoration of train service in Torzhok, a neglected industrial town just a couple hundred miles from Moscow.

Mr Vladimir Klimanov, an economist with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, said that “There are a dozen big projects outlined by presidential decrees of May 2018” after Mr Putin’s reelection. Infrastructure is the key to Russia’s future economic development. We need to develop connecting links between regions. Without that, regional economic development is hardly possible.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 15 Mar 2019
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