The citizens of Ulyanovsk were attentively watching President Putin’s live TV broadcast. They found out from Putin's answers that there was a rise in the economy of the country, and that there were enough fuel reserves. The citizens of Ulyanovsk could not believe the president, because the facts were so different. The city is freezing. Children do not go to schools, kindergartens, people go to bed with their clothes on.
The mayor of Ulyanovsk has recently claimed that the situation with the heating in the city was even worse, than last year in the Primorye region. Of course, the president did not hear even a question from Ulyanovsk. But the citizens of the city heard, what a little boy from the city of Irkutsk said. He said his school was closed due to the absence of heating there and he was afraid, lest he should study in one and the same grade for two years. So the problem was not about the negligence of the local authorities only. It is about the relations between the people, who pay for that heating and electric power properly, and RAO United Energy System of Russia (RAO UES of Russia). There is something wrong about those relations, since there is not enough fuel in the country, for the people pay for the heating and electric power, but the radiators in their homes are cold anyway.
The power engineering specialists of Ulyanovsk region reduced the temperature of the heating-system water down to 50 degrees – the very same day, when the president was talking about the economic rise. The chairman of the city government, Igor Mokevnin wrote a letter to the Mikhail Kasyanov (the Russian premier). In that letter Mokevnin said that the waste steam was coming out in the atmosphere, while there was an opportunity to use the steam for warming the heating-system water.
This is the picture of the “economic rise” in one of the Russian regions. The people compare the economic indexes with what the thermometers display in their own apartments.
Sergey Nikolayev PRAVDA.Ru Ulyanovsk
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/25/35125.html