ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the development of Almaty during an Aug. 18 working visit to the city, reported the Akorda press service.
Almaty’s future development
The meeting agenda included the city’s development, road transportation and social infrastructure, as well as ways to resolve issues in education, ecology, and medicine.
According to forecasts, in the next 20 years, the population of Almaty will reach 3 million people. In the future, the city’s five districts will turn into poly-centers improving transport and load efficiency.
“Over the past ten years, the city has grown quite dynamically but chaotically. The territory of Almaty has more than doubled. However, the infrastructure in the districts is developing unevenly. The urban population, on average, annually increases by 70,000 people. Some 500,000 people come to work and study in Almaty from neighboring settlements every day. It is necessary to identify and eliminate such problems on time,” Tokayev said.
Addressing city’s problems
Tokayev emphasized that systemic measures must be implemented to resolve the main problems in the city. As an example, he mentioned the recent fire in a multi-story residential building in the Akkent micro-district and criticized the state of fire safety. He instructed the Ministry of Emergency Situations to implement large-scale measures and raise awareness among the population about what to do in the event of fires. The akimat (city administration) was instructed to take measures to improve the overall conditions of the fire service.
According to Tokayev, it is necessary to regulate traffic in the city and develop infrastructure for electric vehicles to improve the environmental situation in Almaty.
Development of transport and engineering infrastructure
Almaty Akim (mayor) Yerbolat Dossayev reported that by the end of 2025, it is planned to incorporate an environmental standard in the public transport sector. In addition, opportunities are being considered to stimulate demand for the purchase of electric vehicles by developing the necessary infrastructure.
The meeting also focused on the condition of Almaty’s engineering infrastructure. Providing high-quality drinking water is one of the main challenges for the country, including Almaty, said Tokayev.
He stressed that frequent emergencies leading to a shutdown of the water supply in Almaty indicate the need for an urgent solution to this problem.
Frequent mudflows and increased turbidity of water in rivers are of particular concern. For this reason, at the end of July, utilities were forced to limit the supply of drinking water in the city’s upper part. Nearly 50 multi-apartment and more than 4,000 private residential buildings of the Medeu district were left without water. This situation caused some discontent among the residents.
Tokayev outlined the main tasks that need to be solved to fix the water sector and addressed the prospects for improving the social situation of the population and the healthcare system.
Supporting small and medium-sized businesses
The President commended the high potential for the development of small and medium-sized businesses. According to the announced data, in 2022, Almaty provided over 4 trillion tenge ($8.6 billion) to the state budget, with the largest share of payments from small and medium-sized businesses.
The President emphasized that attracting private capital, strengthening the entrepreneurship development program, creating conditions to support new transport and logistics centers, and developing the creative industry and tourism should give a new impetus to the economy of Almaty.
The meeting was also attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Tamara Duissenova.
Ayusay mudflow-retaining dam
On Friday morning, Tokayev visited the Ayusay mudflow-retaining dam, commissioned on June 1. The dam is located in the basin of the Ulken Almaty River, in the upper reaches of which there are 98 mudflow hazardous areas, 89 glaciers, 20 moraine and glacial lakes. The hydraulic structure will minimize the mudflow threat and provide engineering protection for over 500,000 people and nearly 2,000 facilities.
In the country’s high-mountain zones, there are 970 moraine lakes, of which 156 are potentially dangerous. According to Syrym Sharipkhanov, Minister for Emergency Situations, preventive measures are being taken this year on 13 hazardous lakes.
Tokayev was also briefed about a pilot project to establish 31 digital gauging stations, which will monitor speed, temperature, water turbidity and other indicators online. Such technologies will be introduced in all seven mountainous regions of the country.
Highlighting the importance of ongoing mudflow protection measures for the safety of residents, he stressed the need for close cooperation between the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Almaty akimat, and the Kazakhstan Mudslide Protection state institute.
Prometheus School and future projects
Tokayev’s working visit to Almaty continued with a visit to Prometheus School, where he toured classrooms, the natural science laboratory, and the infrastructure of the educational institution and learned about the methods of teaching school subjects.
Prometheus School, with 840 seats and 5.2 billion tenge ($11.2 million) in investment, was opened last year. The Enlightenment Power Group fund created the school and allocated educational grants for talented students from low-income families.
The fund also plans to open the PhysTech school for 1,400 students. This school will aim to enroll graduates in leading technical universities worldwide. The volume of investments reached 3.9 billion tenge ($8.4 million).