Atyrau, October 20 03:13
Morning cloudy+14, day: +14
Official exchange rates: $ 334.11  € 394.65  P 5.81

Ice age of Block #60

November 23 2012, 15:51

According to the duty weather forecaster of Kazgidromet, the republican meteorology center, Mergul GILYAZHEVA, on the night of November 20 air temperature in Atyrau dropped to -20C. Colder weather is expected for the next few days. But, Nuraddin SHAMSHATOV, the head of Atyrau Heating Networks JSC, assured us that multi-apartment blocks in the oil capital of Kazakhstan are all being properly heated now, except a new residential block at 16 Yerniyazov street, because its residents haven’t signed a relevant agreement yet. 

On a daily basis, Atyrau Mayor Serik AIDARBEKOV receives reports on failures in city heating network for over two months.

The most wonderful part of the tale is that Akimat (city administration) and our editorial office regularly receive complaints from the elite 85-apartment block #60 at Satpayev Street, located behind Music Academy. Yet, not a single application comes from people who live in old or unfit buildings in the city. 

Due to being documented as having a self-contained gas heating system the block was not listed in Akimat’s daily reports. On the spot one could witness that its beautiful façade was illusive: there was no hot water since spring and no heat starting this autumn.

Probably, the building is inhabited by people, whom one may hardly tag poor, given they could afford buying apartments in a luxurious tower block with secured area – business people, company directors and even one of the ex-deputy governors, now a senator.

Their house warming mood didn’t last long: soon, clean hot water in taps turned rusty and oily - you need to keep it flowing for a while until it clears enough to have a proper shower.

As it turned out, the construction company DSU KasTaDor LLP had installed poor quality cast iron boilers of Turkish production instead of stainless steel ones. These notorious boilers used to regularly break during three years and the Ak Otau condominium refused to take the boiler room on the books. The boilers the construction company had to replace long ago are not being repaired since last May. As the result, for half a year, homeowners are suffering from lack of hot water and now from no heat.

Head of Ak Otau condominium Murat SEITKAZIYEV says residents of this tower block systematically do not pay their heating bills. The constructor now has huge debts to gas vendors, therefore it decided to shift off the burden and connect the building to the municipal network.

“For three years, we have been properly paying for dirty and hardly warm water, as well as for heating and other services. Why the entrance doors are wide open for over a year so that anyone can come in? residents complained. – Neither the condominium nor the construction company (its manager’s family lives in this block as well) are able even to fix the intercoms. At the time, we paid 60,000 tenge for each to the constructor. Time after time we kept telling them to wash glass panels, but the answer was always the same– “hire a tower vehicle and pay window washers yourself.”

According to Atyrau Heating Networks JSC Vice President Andrei ZHANDIN, DSU KasTaDor LLP applied and received engineering specifications to connect the building to municipal heating network in October, although people had expressed concerns over the non-working boilers in May. Seemingly, they ought to have been less diplomatic when explaining their anxiety. 

In condominium the reporter was told that not all residents agreed to collect T4-5mln needed to lay a short pipe bridge. Also, premise leaseholders that run Bessini-Ramsey shop and AsiaCreditBank office at the ground floor of the block, claimed they have no intention to take the rap for someone else's mistakes.

Later, it emerged that condominium had stretched the story: in reality, at the meeting with the constructor, people not only denied to collect money, moreover, the angriest ones applied to governor and mayor complaining about such an impudent suggestion.

Undersigned by about 15 persons, the complaint dated October 20 reads:

“…Management of DSU KasTaDor LLP assures us that our heating system has become useless. In our opinion, it can’t have become unserviceable within such a short period. Yet, we agree to connect our building to municipal heating network, providing it doesn’t cost us a thing and all defects are removed. We also agree to transfer our building’s heating system from KasTaDor to other company.”

The thing is not only money, but the principle as well – to make the constructor admit his fault and apologize to the people, who are his neighbors, and to correct the situation at his own expense. Given this, each of them has a farm-in housing construction agreement at hand, of which Item 2.5 clearly reads: “Cost of share participation includes cost of Apartment, as well as expenses of Constructor incurred over the course of construction, including connection to municipal utility networks and payment for attachment of design loads.”

Will residents that are now sick cold and whose wall-papers are peeling in low temperatures at home file lawsuits? A number of them are going to terminate their agreements with Ak Otau condominium, which has proven itself an advocate of the constructor’s interests, but not of home-owners. Instead, they intend to create their own condominium with a transparent financial reporting, and I think the readers will find their experience interesting.

Noteworthy, on the next day after our visit humming work began in an empty trench that had been dug a month ago near the long-suffering elite building. We havent' had a chance to ask Aidyn ALMUKHAMETOV, director of KasTaDor, the reason for such a prompt reaction – at first his cell phone was offline, then we had agreed to meet in his office located in the same building on Tuesday, but he didn’t come. Apparently, because it’s too cold in there.

By Murat SULTANGALIYEV

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