December  8, 2015
Moving Together to a New Home

Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper, 5 December 2015

Residents of two Burlin villages (Berezovka and Bestau) will have new homes.
A few families topping the resettlement list have already received keys to the new apartments in Aksai.  Let’s explain the backgrounds of such start-up.  Residents of Berezovka village had been claiming their resettlement for many years.  In November last year at the same time several pupils had felt sick at school.  Different reasons thereof were considered; numerous checks did not reveal any correlation between this event and field operation impact on the environment.  Nevertheless, the RoK Government and local authorities have decided to take a control under this situation.  Several meetings were conducted with the village residents.  Considering that the economic and technical assessment of the Karachaganak Expansion Project (KEP) is completed by Consortium involved in the field operation and the fact that such KEP includes the expansion of sanitary protection zone, the resettlement of Berezovka and Bestau covered thereby has been recognized as the best solution to implement.  A working committee has been appointed to implement such large-scale movement with the interests of all residents to be respected.  The public inquiry conducted by Research Center “Sange” has aimed to know the resettlement way which residents consider as the best and more preferable one.  Opinions are divided: some residents want to get well-appointed apartments; others - a house and lot.

According to Marat Tusupkaliyev, Burlin district Akim, the preliminary work has been done to cope with the resettlement arrangement to be in full compliance with the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan and international standards.  Since August of this year, several meetings have been already conducted with residents of two villages where the relocation procedure is explained which covers to create conditions at the new place equivalently to as before. Villagers were explained in details their rights and the list of documents required to be submitted for obtaining the new housing.

This project implementation is funded by Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V.  The movement has two phases.  138 applications have been chosen to include into the first phase; 82 of them will prevail.  The prevailed list consists of war veterans, single pensioners, people with disabilities, families with disabled children and families with children suffered from incident happened at school last November.  It should be noted that families with school-age children have been given the right to relocate during the holidays (school breaks).  Two multicompartment buildings are prepared for such purpose in Aksai; Aksai is the administrative center of Burlin district and field. Burlin district Akimat has run the apartments’ distribution process based on the number of family members and square considering the size of previously owned one.  The minimum area per person is 15 square meters. The residents’ desire to get separate apartments (for example, for parents and their adult children) has been taken into account.

KPO always requires all projects to be implemented in compliance with the highest quality.  And now new citizens will live with all modern conveniences.  Contractor has handed over the buildings to Acceptance commission without any defects.  It is good to look at the bright and ample rooms with plastic windows.  Real estate developers also were concerned about creation of comfortable conditions thus they had equipped apartments with gas heaters, gas stoves and kitchen furniture.  There are playgrounds and parking lot in the yards; a kindergarten, school and a health clinic are not far from the buildings.

2016 Second Phase covers the apartment distribution among those who are not included into the group of persons entitled to the benefit.  Residence buildings for such persons are planned to be constructed in Karachaganak micro district, Aksai.  Types and standards of the apartments will be equivalent to those obtained at the first resettlement stage.  In Araltal district the one-storey houses with household plot of 10 ares are planned to be constructed for persons preferred to live in separate house and engage in private plot activities; all utilities will be connected thereto.  The road to the new microdistrict will be paved.  It is also planned to construct a kindergarten and school.  All new occupants will receive a resettlement allowance; persons who move to well-appointed apartments will be paid 1000 USD per housing estate and 200 USD for each family member.  Residents will also receive a compensation for house outbuildings, fruit and berry plantations and land lot.

A compensation mechanism is in process for those who suffer from such resettlement due to their business liquidation; the compensation amount shall be calculated based on the income of entrepreneurs and their employees.  Those who are willing to continue engaging in peasant holding will be offered new land lots.  Once the resettlement is complete and the boundaries of expanded sanitary protection zone are set, all the buildings in Berezovka and Bestau will be subject to demolition.

There is no doubt that the potential new settlers are interested in how environmentally friendly the new place will be.  The answer was that Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. invested heavily in projects on the environment conditions improvement.  All investment information is annually published in the KPO Sustainability Report developed based on the independent auditors’ studies outcomes.  Ecological state of all villages located outside the sanitary protection zone is in compliance with standards and requirements of the RoK legislation.

- A resettlement schedule is developed and resettlement deadline is approved - Marat Tusupkaliyev, Burlin district Akim, said. - Employment arrangements are in process. Teachers and health workers are always in demand.  Persons failed to find jobs by themselves will be socially employed; and persons desired to educate will be given an opportunity to be educated at demanded speciality.  Our target is to ensure creating suitable living conditions for all new occupants (that is more than 400 families).

Lyudmila KORINA, West-Kazakhstan Oblast