Staunton, February 27 – Buryatia, whose leaders hope to make it into a tourist destination for people across Asia, has a problem: most of its roads haven’t been repaired in more than 30 years and are thus impassible except for the most intrepid, and many of the bridges in the republic are equally antiquated and are at risk of collapse.
Buryatia’s aspirations as a tourist destination were outlined in “Kommersant” yesterday (kommersant.ru/doc/2129816?fp=), but its immediate problems with its roads and bridges were detailed by Arevik Safaryan in an article on the Buryat republic’s Infopol.ru website only two days earlier (infpol.ru/news/667/149950.php
Buryatia also faces a cadres problem in this sector, the ministry said. Until 2004, there was no opportunity for people to receive advanced training in road construction, and since that time, the relevant faculty has prepared only 38 specialists for this branch. And the republic faces problems with defects in federal legislation governing road construction.
That legislation, the republic ministry officials indicated, often makes it impossible for them to do their work in a quality fashion because the federal law defines success only in terms of the number of kilometers built or facilities constructed rather than with regard to their quality of maintenance.
Safaryan’s article is filled with a variety of other statistics highlighting Buryatia’s problems in this area, and his article thus offers a remarkable glimpse into an aspect of Russian life often neglected by observers but critical to the lives of the peoples of that country now as well as in the future.