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Viktar Janchurevich: Officials inure society in its struggling against more compact housing (photos)

04.08.2014  |  Society   |  Piotr Kuchta, EuroBelarus,  
Viktar Janchurevich: Officials inure society in its struggling against more compact housing (photos)

According to the civil activist, over the last few years the level of citizens’ self-organization in fighting for parks, backyards, and districts has obviously increased after first successes.

Minsk district administrations have been trying to impose more compact housing, but it doesn’t mean they are going to be successful. Fighting for Sevastopol Park, cantonment in Uručča, Asmolauka village point out to the rise of self-conscience of citizens, believes Viktar Janchurevich, a civil activist and coordinator of the civil initiative.

One of the latest examples is a community within Kalinina-Kolasa-Bialinskaga-Knoryna-Chornaga-Talbuchina streets. A year ago citizens managed to fight the project that presupposed more compact housing; however, now the administration of Pershamaiski district is imposing a new one, which is even worse.

Recently the officials have presented the project of more compact housing only to realize that they might not be able to realize it.Viktar Janchurevichdiscusses this issue in the talk with the “EuroBelarus” Information Service.

- On July 30 in the administration of Pershamaiski district a presentation of the project took place. More than 250 people attended the presentation; there were no free spaces in the auditorium of the administration. It was so because locals were against more compact housing; they expressed their negative attitude to the presentation and were unanimous in saying that they won’t tolerate it. During the meeting the campaign for collecting signatures was launched, and more than 150 people left their signatures. Also, people were hustling to leave their voice against compact housing.

- What will the initiative group be doing later?

- We deiced to carry on with collecting signatures. We also decided to apply for conduction of pickets in order to inform people about the plans for compact housing in their districts. We will probably have one more wave of informing people through putting leaflets in people’s mailboxes and putting stickers onto the information desks near porches. But we already have first results – three locals are now members of the commission that will be working on drawing up results of the civil discussion, so let us hope that this work will be efficient and bring positive results for those who live in this district.

- How did the authorities react?

- From what I saw, the officials were unprepared for so many people; they didn’t expect that during summer a whole auditorium would be full of people who care. Everything indicated that the administration of Pershamaiski district expected to see absolutely different effect; they were expecting “quiet” civil discussion. However, for now society is stronger than it used to be several years ago. All processes similar to that in the Pershamaiski district are being monitored. The problem of more compact housing is relevant for citizens, and that increases their activity; accordingly, the chances to defend their interests are also getting higher.

We can say that now society is ready to fight for its interests and demonstrate consolidation. Let me emphasize that it doesn’t apply to politics; it applies for the questions where people stand up for the interests of their yard or district. People see previous positive examples, where fighting was successful, and try to repeat the positive experience. There are different attitudes; some people traditionally believe that nothing will work – if the authorities are determined to do something, they will certainly do it. However, consciousness of most people is changing. People realise that if they don’t do anything, then nothing will change, or only change to the worse.   

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