National news in brief

Kazakhstan’s maternal mortality decreased 1.5 percent and infant mortality 7 percent in 2017, reported Kazinform. One hundred and twelve social projects on family planning were implemented and 15 international documents were ratified in the country. The Institution of Children’s Ombudsman, Committee for the Protection of Rights of Children and Centres for Support of Children in Difficult Life Situations also operate. Some 8,362 psychologists, 4,268 social educators and 2,177 police inspectors work in schools. Authorities take systematic measures to strengthen the reproductive health of citizens and protect the health of mother and child. “Protection of rights and reproductive health of citizens is of great importance for spiritual and moral development of the younger generation,” said State Secretary of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova at an Aug. 23 government meeting.

Belgium company Carmeuse Group invested $55 million to build a lime production plant at the Saryopan field in the Karaganda region, according to the press service of Kazakh Invest. The production capacity is expected to be 300,000 tonnes of lime per year and 105 positions will be created. “We thank Kazakh Invest for their support. One of the technological innovations will be producing both quicklime and hydrated lime,” said representative of Carmeuse Group. The company was founded in 1860 in Belgium and is one of the world leaders in lime production. The annual turnover of the company is 1.5 billion euros (US$1.7 billion).

The third expedition titled Dzungarian Alatau was completed Aug. 24, according to the press service of Kazakh Tourism. Members of the expedition travelled 2,130 kilometres and studied the sacred places of Almaty region during 12 days. The team included journalists, foreign and local travel bloggers and photographers. As a result of the expedition, a programme about tourist sites will be launched on the Kazakh TV channel. “We explored the unique route that opens up new facets of our native land. This inspires to discover more. This route is rich in both natural and archaeological monuments. A tour requires some physical preparation from travellers. Due to this, we will develop several routes differing both in terms and levels of complexity,” said Expedition Leader Inkar Menayakova.  

Kazakhstan’s air passenger traffic grew 15 percent in the first seven months of 2018, reported the press service of the Ministry for Investments and Development. The airlines carried more than 4.6 million people. Last year, this figure was four million people. Local airports served 7.7 million people in Jan.-July, which is 11 percent more than in the same period of 2017 with 6.9 million people. The state subsidises 17 air routes within Kazakhstan and in recent years 13 new international flights were launched. Terminals in regional airports were also renovated.

Kazinform reports, Aktau became the fourth city with an automated bicycle station. Aqtaybike now includes five stations for 76 parking spaces and 38 bicycles. At the first stage, 25 stations will be installed throughout the city for 180 bicycles. Then the project sponsors will set up 75 bike stations for 820 bicycles. Velocity.kz President Almagul Kassymova said the system works on solar energy. It helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, improve the environment and reduce the load on the road network. Akim (Governor) of the Mangistau region Yeraly Tugzhanov instructed to work out the location for additional bike stations, to prepare the sites for stations and to develop bicycle lanes in accordance with the requirements of road safety.

The first Hampton by Hilton hotel was opened Aug. 15 in the Kazakh capital. It is located at the heart of the new business district near to Nazarbayev University, EXPO 2017 and the airport. The hotel features 114 rooms. A standard room price starts from 24,000 tenge (US$66) per day. “Hampton by Hilton hotel in Kazakhstan has a great location and spacious rooms. We are looking forward to our first guests who will be able to appreciate the world-famous Hamptonality service and branded amenities of our hotel chain,” said General Manager of Hampton by Hilton Astana Triumphal Arch Maria Temerova at the opening ceremony. The five-star Hilton Astana and Hilton Garden Inn Astana already operate in the city.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!