Giorgi Dvalishvili, Shida Kartli
Social-economic problems are still relevant in the adjacent villages near the so-called dividing, occupation line of Gori municipality. The representatives of HRC visited the villages of Gori municipality several times. Quite a number of problems were revealed during these visits.
As an example, the problem of drinking and irrigation water concern the villagers of Ergneti, Khurvaleti, and Zardiaantkari. Creeping occupation and rising fuel prices because of which the peasants cannot cultivate the land add to the list of problems.
Speaking about the existing problems in adjacent villages of dividing line mass migration should be pointed out - a young population is exceedingly rare in these places. “Only the elderly is left in the villages,” - says one of the residents of the village left alone against the occupation.
Is the Mayor’s Office of Gori municipality aware of the existing problems in the villages adjacent to the dividing line, are the problems identified by HRC in the previous years solved in the villages of Gori municipality, and which social programs are available for the population of the villages adjacent to the dividing line? - humanrights.ge spoke with Tamaz Shioshvili, deputy mayor of Gori municipality concerning the above issues.
- Mr. Tamaz, what is the Mayor’s Office of Gori municipality specifically doing to solve the existing social-economic and infrastructural problems in the villages adjacent to the dividing line?
- Under the applicable legislation, the Mayor’s Office of Gori municipality within its competence serves the municipality on equal terms. But the priority for the authority is to solve the existing problems in the villages adjacent to the dividing line.
- The problem of drinking and irrigation water is still acute for the villages adjacent to the dividing line. As an example, HRC was told at the village Ergneti that they had a problem with irrigation water; the population of Zardiaantkari had the same problem. In some villages there was a problem with drinking water too; is the Mayor’s Office of Gori planning to carry out infrastructural projects in this direction?
- Meliorative service provides irrigation systems for the Gori municipality, including the villages adjacent to the occupation line. According to our information, the provision of irrigation is delayed only in two villages out of twenty-six near the occupation line (Bershueti, Kiribati). In the above-mentioned villages, the villagers use alternative means when there is a deficit of irrigation water. As for the drinking water, all the villages adjacent to the occupation line are provided with drinking water.
- In the village Kirbali adjacent to the dividing line there is no kinder garden, and the children traveled to the neighboring village for a kinder garden, but the educational process was interrupted even in Zerti. In 2019 the Mayor’s Office of Gori informed HRC that they planned to build a kinder garden in Kirbali. Is this issue still on agenda for the authorities and what is the situation concerning the kinder garden in Zerti?
- There are few children in Kirbali which is why at this stage we do not plan to build a kinder garden. The kinder garden of the neighboring village Zerti provides services for these children. Kinder garden management agency of Gori municipality provides transportation of the children from Kirbali free of charge. Nowadays, the kinder garden of Zerti continues the educational process in the rented premises. It is planned to build a new kinder garden in the village. At the time being, we engage in the purchasing process of project and cost estimate documents through open competition.
- Is the problem of contaminated drinking water in Gugutiantkari solved?
- Up today no one has applied to Gori municipality concerning the problem of drinking water in Gugutiantkari.
- Does the Gori municipality have social programs for the population of villages adjacent to the dividing line?
- Citizens registered at Gori municipality are benefiting from the social programs of Gori municipality including the citizens living in the villages adjacent to the occupation line.
- Mass migration is one of the acute problems existing in the villages adjacent to the dividing line. The young population migrates thinking they have less opportunity for development in these villages. The Mayor’s Office has programs for young people; are the young population of the villages adjacent to the dividing line informed of these programs and are they among the beneficiaries of the mentioned programs?
- The projects in which the young population is actively involved with the part of them living in the villages adjacent to the occupation line are implemented through co-financing instruments by the Mayor’s Office. Noteworthy, they are actively involved in the process of formation of the civic budget. The objective of the project is to assist the development of cooperation between the authorities and the population.
- As for road infrastructure, are the villages adjacent to the dividing line prioritized by the Mayor’s Office? Are there any specific works planned in these villages for this year?
- Improvement of the quality of life in the villages adjacent to the occupation line is the priority for the Gori municipality as well as for the authorities of the country. In this respect, the arrangement of the infrastructure is going on. Part of the local roads are paved, water supply systems are arranged, playing fields and squares are set up, fitness equipment and outdoor lights are installed. Now the rehabilitation of the school in Mejvriskhevi, building of the kinder gardens in Mejvriskhevi and Ergneti, and rehabilitation of local roads in Nikoza administrative are going on. The works are on also for the arrangement of infrastructure in the villages adjacent to the occupation line.