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The News in Brief

Tuesday, July 21
Citizens will no longer have to pay for water meters

Citizens will not have to pay 100 GEL for water meters from this point on.

As InterpressNews was informed by the Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, a change was made to the rules pertaining to supply and consumption of drinking water.

In particular, meters will be installed free of charge for citizens whose water pipe diameter does not exceed 15 mm.

“Meters are free and the water supply company is obliged to install them. The commission is now working on the changes to the rules of water supply and consumption, which will define the terms of installation,” the Commission Chairwoman said.

According to her, citizens will be able to enjoy many other novelties in the water supply system in the near future.

Natural gas available for Georgian villages along occupation line

Two Georgian villages located near the occupation line with Georgia’s breakaway Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) are now supplied with natural gas for the first time.

Slightly more than 500 households in Gori municipality who live near the administrative border, which has been contested since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, are now connected with a reliable gas supply.

Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze, with the local authorities and representatives of Azerbaijani gas distribution company SOCAR Georgia Gas, lit a symbolic torch today at the villages to symbolise the new gas connection. The villages were: Khurvaleti and Tsitelubani.

Tsitelubali is the village where the tense situation further intensified after Russia extended its occupation two kilometres deeper into Georgian territory earlier this month.

As for the village of Khurvaleti, it is where Data Vanishvili, the hero of’s Easter storylives.

SOCAR Georgia Gas built a 14km gas pipe allowing 510 families in both villages to connect to the main pipeline and access natural gas.

Normally, once the central pipe is built in a village, families must pay up to 600 GEL to ensure their home is connected to the gas main. However, thanks to a special governmental project, meant for the villages near the occupation zone, people here get access to gas for free.

Meanwhile, more than 33 villages in Georgia’s eastern Shida Kartli region were connected with gas for free after the central government allocated 19 million GEL to this project.

Overall, 58 villages in Georgia’s most troubled areas will access natural gas.

Who wants to use Tbilisi’s Atoneli residence?

Georgia’s National Security Council (NSC) has turned down an offer to use the residence on Atoneli Street as office.

The residence used to house the U.S. embassy, but was refurbished to be used for the President’s office. This, however, was rejected by the president’s administration, and now the NSC follows suit.

The head of the government’s administration told journalists on Thursday that the government asked the NSC in November, 2014, to move out of the government’s administration office. In July, they asked the NSC to move into the Atoneli residence. First, NSC Secretary Irina Imerlishvili agreed to this.

“But unfortunately, after [ownership of] this building has been transferred, Irina Imerlishvili sent a rejection letter about moving into this building. The reason was that the building doesn’t comply with the necessary requirements,” Maia Tskitishvili said.

This argument seems a bit vague, she continued, because everybody knows that the building is ready, filled with furniture, and waiting to be moved into.

When the new government first began refurbishing the Atoneli residence, the idea was to use it for president’s residence, but Giorgi Margvelashvili rejected this, arguing that the infrastructure is not proper for the activities of a president.

Margvelashvili’s first bold move after assuming office was when he decided to move into the presidential palace in Avlabari, which was built by his predecessor, Mikheil Saakashvili.

After Margvelashvili refused to move into the Atoneli residence, the government considered selling the building to private interests, but later decided that it cannot be sold, because it is designed for public use.

The problem now persists, but it is unclear which government body will move in there.
(DF Watch)