17.11.2005
THE BLACK GOLD OF THE WHITE VALLEY

Kazakhstanskaya Pravda

By Ludmila KORINA

More and more often, Aksai is being referred to as a city striding into the future, and this is the way it is in reality. During the years of development of the Karachaganak field, the small district centrer has undergone changes, which were only made possible due to the large investments into the development of its infrastructure. The renovations continue until today. This year, the residents reflected what the name of the city means, since nearly the entire population participated in the city cleaning operations.

The decision on the participation in the national Ecologically Clean City competition could seem bold from first sight. Right next to the city, the Karachaganak oil and gas condensate field is located, and Aksai itself is the administrative centre. But when people have a common goal, then success will be achieved. In spring when the snow melted, all people cleaned the streets, yards and parks.

Ecology and economics are always closely connected. Those who work at the field receive good salaries, and the city is being reconstructed. In order not to spoil the picture, construction materials near the newly constructed houses have been cleaned up. Many old cars and frames could be found across the city, mostly in the city suburbs. A special cleaning operation had to be organized for this reason, using cranes and trucks. Companies, organizations and plants cleaned nearby areas and sidewalks. The apartment cooperatives also took active part in the cleaning work. All unauthorized city dumps were eliminated. Transformer substations, electrical lines, and gas and heating lines were repaired. Thousands of trees and bushes were planted. The city now looks good and is in bright in new colors. All offices, organizations, stores made their buildings look beautiful. In order to deal with the garbage, the akimat organized other cleanup operations.

Ecological services supervised the work. The head of the Ecological State Inspection section of the Burlin District, Arman Beketov said that a commission was created to conduct weekly inspections of sanitary conditions on the organization’s premises. And the requirements are very harsh. District ecologists and ecological services of the field are maintaining contacts.

The soil, water and air monitoring system should be mentioned separately. The operating company, KPO is required to control environmental conditions along the perimetre of the sanitary protection zone, which is 3 km around the field. But the foreign companies’ programme for the development of nearby settlements also includes monitoring of nearby settlements around the SPZ, including Aksai. Measurements are conducted 4 times per day, and in addition, automatic observation stations operate all day long, and a computer programme tracks the slightest changes. The rooms of all of the akims are equipped with telephones with direct telephone communications to the field worker on duty. Emergency reaction stations turn on automatically if toxic substances norms. There is no such equipment anywhere else in Kazakhstan.

We not only demand an observance of norms, but also disclosure of related data to the public, the Burlin District Akim, Kairgali Imashev says. These demands are followed strictly. The research results are hung on special boards and published in the media. Moreover, this year, the West Kazakhstan State University scientists and KPO conducted soil fertility research and agricultural planting recommendations project. This project provides evidence that proximity of production wells to the field plants undergo a full cycle of growth. Swans are swimming in the SPZ lakes, and there have been no cases of deaths among animals or birds. According to the district head, Karachaganak is the first of all workplaces. The development of social area, trade, culture and sports are all related to the field.

We must also mention one more important project for the city, being conducted with the help of the investors. Over many years in Aksai, residents in multi-story apartment buildings only had received water a few hours per day. On the upper stories, people became accustomed to storing water, and hot water was like a dream. Starting last year, this problem ceased to exist. The first stage in its solution was a reconstruction of the water reservoir. Its capacity was doubled, and the water pumping station was equipped with the most modern technology. The water tower is a unique facility, with capacity of 2000 cubic metres.

Much of the technology applied during the construction was used for the first time in Kazakhstan. When there was not enough water pressure, it turned out that water network was obsolete. The city is growing. This means that reconstruction must be conducted with reserve capacity, which was done. The water lines were built up to 30 km, and they are reliable and long lasting. All related communications had to be rebuilt. A chlorine station was also built. 11 water wells, 3 accumulating reservoirs, transformer substations were repaired. The next stage is the reconstruction of central heating stations, the repair of heat exchangers and pumps. The hot water supply had to be limited because the pressure grew on sewage systems. The launch of new treatment plants completed the project.

The Aksaizhyluenergo General Director, Turebay Isekenov said that all production structures are

planned for the usage of modern treatment technologies, which take into account all ecological requirements. Thus, new water and heat supply systems were built for the entire city. The total project costs to Karachaganak investors was USD 20 MM. The funds were allocated in addition to the annual US 10 MM investment, which the company puts into the development of the social infrastructure of Priurale.

As per the results of a national ecological competition, Aksai is in the top ten of the cleanest cities in Kazakhstan. The monitoring and requirements sanitary norms remain harsh, however. City residents are used to the fact that the city is kept clean, and not only by the utility services, but by themselves. Together with Arman Beketov, we observed ecology lessons at the Aksai Secondary School No 5. The students were watering young trees in the schoolyard, and they then planted trees and bushes in Gazoviks Park. The fifth graders had a drawing competition entitled, Aksai, My Motherland. Before the bell rang, the teacher asked, “Who planted a tree this year? All of the children raised their hands, except for one girl. The teacher then asked, What about you, Danochka? The girl said, I planted an apple tree.