The main responsibility for the catastrophic state of communal utility services lies with local authorities, according to a statement made today by Vladimir Pekhtin, the leader of the Unity fraction in the State Duma. The deputy believes that 'we need to hold the leaders of regions experiencing disasters strictly to account, right down to firing those who are guilty and even pressing criminal charges against them.' Pekhtin noted that average temperature in the Magadan Region in January was below -40°C, but it was not experiencing any problems with heating or electricity supplies. 'At the same time, in regions with a much more mild climate huge numbers of pipes have burst and boilers are not working,' said the deputy.
Pekhtin believes that the government and the State Duma are dallying over new laws to reform the electricity sector and other utilities. 'It is clear that these sectors require urgent reforms. Between 60% and 80% of electricity generation facilities and supply grids are in poor condition,' Pekhtin stressed.
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