Kokshetau will start Smart City transition with schools and busses, sees steady economic growth

ASTANA – Kokshetau’s transition to a Smart City will start this year by introducing e-tickets on public transport, the Smart School project in five schools and a pilot project to digitise the housing and utilities sectors. The town of approximately 130,000 is the regional centre of the Akmola region.

Photo credit: inform.kz.

The Smart City project is in its initial development phase. The city’s housing maintenance firms (KSKs) connected all houses to the e-KSK online service system and installed cameras at 400 entrances of a planned 800 last year, said Akim (Mayor) Yermek Marzhikpayev at a Feb. 7 annual report meeting with the regional governor.

The project has created a secondary issue, however, as the town must address questions more vital for locals. The lack of seats in Kokshetau’s secondary schools resulted in splitting the school day into three shifts, forcing kids in the third shift to study late in the evening.

To eliminate the third shift, schools Nos. 1, 4, 6 and 13 will build extensions accommodating 1,680 seats. Construction is also planned in the Saryarka microdistrict to provide 280 additional kindergarten seats for children with speech disorders. Twenty-four of 29 public private partnership (PPP) education projects worth 3.8 billion tenge (US$10.05 million) were started last year.

Food prices were unreasonably high near the end of 2018 and the city akimat (administration) signed 280 memorandums with outlets to prevent future issues. Starting Dec.1, heat tariffs reduced 36 percent to 2,721 tenge (US$7.20) per gigacalorie. Beginning Jan. 1, city residents have observed tariff reductions for the sewage system (11 percent), water (6.6 percent) and electricity (6 percent).

The real sector of the economy is developing steadily, said Marzhikpayev. Industrial enterprises have produced goods worth 105.3 billion tenge (US$ 278.6 million). Fixed asset investments were 38.8 billion tenge (US$102.66 million), a 10.6-billion tenge (US$28.04 million) increase compared to the previous year.

Akim (Mayor) of Kokshetau Yermek Marzhikpayev. Photo credit: inform.kz.

Construction of three city highways and a bridge on Gabdullin Street across the Kylshakty River began last year. The akimat presented a final detailed plan for a 128.9-hectare plot during a Jan. 24 meeting with the regional akim.

“This is a very important project for the city. In April, the design and estimate documentation for the construction of a bypass road, which is also included in the project, will come from the state examination. It will separate the city from the lake and all the water coming from the streets will pass through the sewage treatment plant,” said Marzhikpayev.

The 7-20-25 state housing mortgage programme approved more than 200 applications. Thirty-one apartment buildings with 1,500 units were built, construction is continuing on 19 buildings and 17 buildings with 600 apartments are expected to be commissioned soon.