President's Plenipotentiary Intends to Cope With Problems Building St. Petersburg Dam and Ring Highway

Viktor Cherkesov, Russia's President's Plenipotentiary in the North-Western Federal District, intends to overcome the disorganisation that plagues the construction of St. Petersburg dam and ring highway. This is according to his interview with the Week Herald (Vesti Nedeli) newspaper. 'The construction of the St. Petersburg flood dam has continued since 1979', he said, 'and the project documentation was prepared even earlier. However the times and conditions have changed since then. At this time, the LENGESS company that used to be the general contractor and the only builder of the dam is going through bankruptcy. Regretfully, the lack of organisation is not the only problem. There is also misappropriation of construction resources and facilities'. Mr. Cherkesov said that certain problems as concerned the construction would have to be resolved all anew, which now was a headache of federal magnitude.

'At this time', he continued, 'the construction of the dam is being taken care of by the Ministry of Construction. That there is no needed organisation there is obvious. In the meantime, the quality and timetables of the work depend on what demands are made on contractors and on how the project documentation is completed'.

Mr. Cherkesov reminded that on the orders of Russia's President, beginning the summer of 2002, his administration has been controlling the use of federal funds and the progress of the construction of the dam and the ring highway around St. Petersburg. 'During the last summer', he said, 'we prepared sufficiently detailed information on the progress of the project, which was President's reason to tell federal ministries and agencies to sort it all out and figure the role of everyone involved. At this time, because of the super-long time that has elapsed since the beginning of the construction and the conditions that have changed, special close monitoring of the project is needed.

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