Since the beginning of winter in Russia, as well as in the annexed Crimea and Sevastopol, at least 557 communal accidents have occurred. “Novaya gazeta Evropa” calculated this, analyzed reports about them in the media.
Accidents on housing and communal services infrastructure occurred in 59 regions. Most of the major breakdowns occurred in the Sverdlovsk region. It recorded 42 accidents, including one of the largest, when residents of 324 multi-story buildings in Yekaterinburg were left without heating for three days after the New Year holidays.
A few fewer accidents this winter occurred in Volgograd region (39), Moscow region (31) and Novosibirsk region (30). In total, according to the newspaper’s estimates, about three million residents were affected by outages in the housing and communal services networks – more than in the previous five years. At least 43 people were injured: they were scalded in boiling water.
The majority of accidents occurred due to breakthroughs on heating lines: almost 300 (or about 52%) in December and January. The degree of wear and tear of heat supply networks can reach 70%, according to the estimates of the Fund for Assistance in the Reform of Housing and Utilities.
Several more accidents occurred due to sewerage breaks. In January, at least two schools – in Perm and Vladimir – canceled classes because of this, and a state of emergency was introduced in Novocherkassk: there, tram tracks and basements of residential buildings were flooded with sewage.
According to the heat supply expert, with whom the newspaper spoke, the situation with emergency could be corrected by competition, when residents freely choose the management company – but under the current government, this is hardly possible.
According to the Ministry of Construction, by 2030, four to nine trillion rubles will be needed to repair the municipal infrastructure. This is less than the official expenditures of the federal budget on defense planned for the current hour. At the same time, the authorities are going to cut housing and communal services expenses in half. Meanwhile, in many regions, municipal tariffs are planned to increase by up to 15%, “Novaya gazeta Evropa” draws attention.