Inglorious anniversary!

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Two years ago, September 10, 2007, Specialized Interregional Economic Court of Almaty City made a decision about liquidation of an illegal dumpster located on the territory of Ile-Alatau national park to the south of the alpine ski-resort Chimbulak. Lack of control of the Akimat of Almaty City and Almaty City Territorial Department on Environmental Protection over the conditions of the natural environment was declared to be inaction! So far the court decision has not been executed; some of the constructional and domestic wastes are still there, and the site remediation works have not been even started yet.
There are thousands of excuses, as usually. There is no money, no trained staff, no equipment, no experience… We could believe these excuses of our authorities may be five years ago, but not today.

For misappropriation of hundreds of hectares of specially protected territories local akims and the park director are being sued, robbers acting outrageously on the park roads are also under the trials. Officials conduct inspection after inspection, under the public pressure the park administration started to clean the area. But… neither the courts, nor the prosecutor, nor the ministry, nor the administration are able to stop the bacchanal in the national park. Its territory still reminds a patchwork quilt, with more and more patches of “elite” private lands. New facilities are being constructed here even they do not have any relation to protection of nature, private owners block popular touristic routes, traffic jams pollute the air and spoil the mood of the visitors, and what is the most distressing the traffic causes deaths of innocent people.

Now it is absolutely obvious that there is enough money for illegal construction of new roads, houses, saunas, hotels, for organization of elite hunting, for illegal privatization, deforestation, plundering of biological resources.

But there is no money for on-site marking of the park boundaries, providing security to the park visitors, patrolling the territory, collecting trash, repairing roads, issuing maps and brochures, execution of the court decisions!

Soon, it will snow in Chimbulak and the snow will cover the mutilated and humiliated land with white shroud till the next spring. And what is going to be in the spring? How many springs it will take for the rule of law to be a principle and not an exception in our country?