ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the Ekibastuz power plant on Aug. 9 during his working visit to the Pavlodar Region and urged the government and Akim (governor) to monitor the quality and duration of its restoration, reported the Akorda press service.
The President emphasized that the suspension in the work of the Ekibastuz power plant, which left the town without heating last winter, cannot occur again in this city or anywhere else.
“This is the responsibility of the government and all the Akims (governors and mayors). We learned a hard lesson from everything that happened,” he said.
Tokayev thanked the city residents for their patience in a difficult situation and for their civil contribution in eliminating the consequences of the accident. He assured the citizens that the government is taking all the required measures to prevent the incident from recurring.
Asain Baikhanov, governor of the Pavlodar Region, informed that the hydraulic tests of the main and intra-quarter networks resulted in the repair of 304 damages and the replacement of 62 kilometers of the pipeline and 76 out of 95 units of valves. At the expense of the government budget, 5.4 kilometers of heating mains are being reconstructed, he added.
The Akimat (administration) stated that Ekibastuz needs to implement two projects to eliminate the risk of accidents. The first is the construction of a main pipeline, which will enable uninterrupted supply of technical water to the power plant. The second is the construction of a new heating main to balance the heat supply system of four micro districts and significantly improve the parameters of heat supply to the homes of more than 9,000 citizens.
According to Roman Sklyar, First Deputy Prime Minister, the government is working on financing these projects from next year.
The President also said Kazakhstan needs to transition to a new economic model. He plans to elaborate on this in his upcoming state-of-the-nation address in September.
Tokayev said he is convinced that Kazakhstan’s economy cannot remain in its current position, considering a crucial upcoming historic moment.
The President instructed the government to make proposals and deliver the plans to develop and prepare the new economic model.
He voiced his disapproval of domestic economists, claiming that they lack originality and awareness of the state’s challenges.
“I recently chaired a Supreme Economic Council meeting. To be honest, I expressed criticism of our domestic economists. I think they are not working enough. There is a lack of creativity and awareness of the challenges facing us and the state. The people expect clear decisions from us because the most pressing issues must be addressed. Ensuring a decent standard of living for our people is strongly tied to how we envision our country’s economic progress. We cannot function without decisive measures in this situation,” he said.