About GEL 20 million will be needed to address the pressing infrastructure needs of dozens of villages located in an immediate vicinity of breakaway South Ossetia’s administrative boundary line, a governmental commission said on Wednesday.
The group, uniting high-ranking officials, is called ad hoc governmental commission in charge of addressing urgent needs of population living in the villages adjacent to “dividing lines” – a term used by the state ministry for reintegration in reference to the administrative boundary lines of breakaway regions, which is usually referred to as “occupation line” in their statements by the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry.
The commission was established on October 1 and is co-chaired by Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Narmania and State Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili.
The commission, which unites deputes of various ministers, toured up to 40 villages located along the administrative boundary line with breakaway South Ossetia in recent days.
Development of natural gas distribution network; installation of individual electricity meters for households; providing locals with firewood for heating this winter were identified by the commission among the most urgent needs.
Deputy Energy Minister, Ilia Eloshvili, who is a member of the commission said that the ministry will provide infrastructure allowing locals access to the natural gas within the six month.
Currently work is underway in four villages to provide households with access to natural gas with the project cost of up to GEL 1.2 million, according to the Georgian Energy Ministry.
Gas distribution network is built, but not extended to households, in five villages; network is only partly in place in 13 villages and the entire system, involving distribution network and access to households, has to be built in 18 villages.
The Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure said that up to GEL 2 million will be allocated to distribute firewood among 10,000 families starting from November.
According to the Justice Ministry the public registry will speed up and simplify procedures for registration of ownership rights of locals on land plots.
The package also includes covering tuition fees for those university students, who come from these villages; the commission said that scheme will be elaborated after it verifies an exact number of such students.
According to the commission 19 out of 81 mini outpatient clinics planned in the rural areas, will be opened in the villages adjacent to the administrative boundary line.
The planned package and establishment of the commission itself was, at least partly, a response of the Georgian government to the so called ‘borderisation’ process, involving installing fences by the Russian troops across the administrative boundary line of South Ossetia.
According to the Georgian authorities now the total length of fences along the administrative boundary line reached 35 kilometers. The process, the Georgian government says, affected around 65 families.
At the moment the process is suspended, but State Minister for Reintegration, Paata Zakareishvili says: “We have no illusions; Russia is expected to resume it.”