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More meetings for Ministers in the regions

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 20
As part of the Public Dialogue programme Ministers and members of the ruling party continue to hold meetings with the population in different regions.

On August 19, Minister of Environment Protection Goga Khachidze met locals in Tsalenjikha where he observed the newly-completed flood protection work carried out on the River Chanistskhali in the village of Mazandrashi. This river had been creating very serious problems for local residents because it had often flooded houses and fields. The flood prevention measures will prevent further damage. GEL 73 000 was allocated from the state budget for this work.

“Many flood prevention works have been carried out in Georgia. When the river burst its banks this was a really serious problem for people and their gardens. We have already solved this problem in this village and plan to conduct such works in other places as well,” the Environment Minister said yesterday. The state has spent GEL 8.5 million on flood prevention so far in 2009, five times more than it did last year, and 1,000 people have been employed as a result.

Prior to Tsalenjikha Khachidze had visited Zemo Svaneti where he talked to people in Khaishi village. “We had a very hard but productive meeting. We have found a practical way out together with the population. In Khaishi they have problems in connection with the forest. We will do our best to ensure that the population is pleased on the one hand and the forest is protected and saved on the other,” Khachidze stated.

The population asked for licences for short-term forest use to be issued. The Ministry agreed with their request for five-year licenses and on August 20 thirty thousand hectares of forest will be transferred to the Ministry of Economic Development so that it can be put up for auction. Local people will have an opportunity to take part in this auction and thus become licence holders.

Bakur Kvezereli, the Minister of Agriculture, is also holding meetings in the regions. Yesterday he visited Tkibuli where he promised the locals that he would take their problems into account and resolve them soon. On August 18 Kvezereli had visited the village of Metekhi in Shida Kartli, where difficulties in the agricultural sector were raised with him. He said that such meetings will help him and other members of the Government to agree upon their priorities for next year.

During the past month Bakur Kvezereli has held several such meetings and he is planning to continue visiting different regions of Georgia. In Metekhi people were satisfied. “It is very good that the Minister himself is interested in our problems. We think such discussions are very useful,” Metekhi residents said.