Shymkent, provincial capital of South Kazakhstan oblast, may become the third largest city in Kazakhstan, believes Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
"Kazakhstan plans to develop two megacities - Astana and Almaty. Shymkent may be another big city along with a city in the west of the country," Kazakh leader wrote in Twitter during a work trip to South Kazakhstan.
According to the area development plan of Shymkent approved by government in 2012, the city territory will grow threefold in a few coming years and the population is projected to reach 1.5 million by 2015.
IA Novosti Kazakhstan