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Needs of locals on South Ossetia administrative border discussed

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, November 18
According to the Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Narmania, the government plans to spend at least 40 million GEL next year to address the needs of locals on the South Ossetia administrative border line.

On November 15, Narmania presented the report of the special Government Commission at a joint hearing of several parliamentary committees, including a parliamentary commission for territorial integrity. According to the minister, the commission, which was created on October 4, has already dealt with some of the problems.

The problem of drinking and irrigation water is among some of the issues that have been successfully addressed. According to Narmania, five water wells are also on the agenda. Next year the Ministry of Agriculture will allocate 6.7 million GEL for the rehabilitation of irrigation systems in the region. Narmania also said that the Energy Ministry has already launched 20 million GEL projects to develop a gas distribution network that will provide 15, 830 households with access to natural gas. He said that the process is supposed to be over by summer of 2014.

Narmania stressed that the state will provide a one-time 200 GEL allowance to approximately 10, 000 families for heating purposes this winter. He also said that recipients of this allowance will be able to either buy firewood or pay their electricity and gas bills.

According to Narmania, 1 million GEL will be allocated for the construction of one new school and the rehabilitation of some other schools in the region during next year. He also added that students from this region will be provided with 2, 250 GEL funding next year for covering their fees.

Representatives of the former governing United National Movement (UNM) made comments about the issue. UNM MP Akaki Minashvili said that all the problems on the border are the fault of the policy led by the current Georgian Dream administration. “This is a result of the government’s inactivity, they do nothing to solve the problem,” stated Minashvili.

Another UNM MP, Shota Malashkhia, said that situation is getting harder and harder. He said “even though this is the fault of our new government we are going to collaborate and try to solve the problem together.”

However, in response, Narmania stated that the “borderization” process started long before the Georgian Dream took office.