A new municipal service is being offered in Kyrghyzstan (the former Soviet republic of Kirghizia located in Central Asia). Tenants in apartment blocks are giving up central heating. The simple fact is that they just do not have enough money to pay for heat, the price of which has soared lately. The other day, it was announced that the tariffs were being raised by 50%. Now, given an average pension of 550 soms, one would have to provide 780 soms for a one room apartment. Even for a steady worker, it is two-hirds of his salary. And this concern only the matter of heat.
Therefore, housing and communal services in Kyrghyzstan are getting receiving piles of applications from tenants asking to switch off their heating. However, there is a lot of red tape. To have one’s heat switched off, one will have to do it at his or her own expense. Rough estimations show that this procedure will cost as much as the heat supplied for the entire season. Therefore, you cannot pay for heat, and you cannot be switched off from the heat. There are fears that this “aporia” may be solved by moving pensioners and the poor from their homes to the street.
Yuri Razgulyayev PRAVDA.Ru Bishkek Kyrghyzstan
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/20/33993.html