The Olympiad in Sochi can bring a catastrophe to this city; it should be either decentralized or rejected - this is the conclusion of the report published yesterday, on April 13, by Boris Nemtsov, a candidate for Sochi Mayor, and economist Vladimir Milov.
The authors of the report, who are members of the United Democratic Movement "Solidarity", emphasize that they stand for "successful 2014 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Russia." However, in their opinion, "today, the Olympic dream is rapidly escaping out of the hands of Sochi residents, and the whole Russia is at risk to lose both the 2014 Olympic Games and the seaside resort."
The Sochi's intricate mountain relief causes the need to build plenty of mountain tunnels and bridges within its transport infrastructure. It is very expensive, and, the main thing, very long: for example, to have the projected road Adler-Krasnaya Polyana (Red Meadow) ready by 2013, it is necessary to cut tunnels at a speed of 500 meters per month, although they haven't yet started. The prospect not to be in time for the Olympiad is more than real, as the authors of the report assert.
An actual complete replacement of the city's sewer network is required. But it is obvious that modernization of the sewer network cannot be combined with the scale of civil works and building of hundreds kilometres of new city roads and construction of new railway tracks.
In their opinion, the preparation and holding of the Olympiad-2014 can impact negatively the whole natural complex of the region, since until now the borders of the protected zone of the Caucasian State Natural Biosphere Reserve have not been defined, same as the boundaries and regime of Sochi sanitary protection districts; there is no general plan of Sochi development whatsoever.
"An implication is the non-authorized build-up of the land, including the land of the first mountain-sanitary protection zone of resorts, already causing irreparable damage to the resort potentials of Sochi. In the years to come, Russia can lose its only popular mass seaside resort and get instead a dirty town unfit for any rest and recreation," the authors of the report are warning.
Even the authorities themselves agree that no quality evaluation of ecological consequences of construction of Olympic objects was held: in March 2009, the North-Caucasian Inter-Regional Department for Ecological and Technological Supervision reported that already the start of a series of state ecological examinations of the working projects of Sochi Olympic object, on which the State Corporation "Olympstroy" was appointed to be state customer, showed that the common feature of all the project materials is a poorly designed section, which deals with the nature protection measures, as the report marks.
It is supposed to place all the main sites of the Olympiad-2014 in the Imereti Valley. From the geological point of view, it is a mere gamble, as the authors of the report assert. According to their version, erection of capital constructions in oozy and marshy soils is practically impossible.
The qualitative examination, allowing to define the suitability of Sochi landscape for accommodating Olympic and infrastructural objects, was not done to the required volume, while the adopted law on preparation and holding the Olympiad, which in fact suspended the Russian Constitution and laws for 10 years in the territory of Sochi, declares that public hearings and promulgation of the results of ecological examination are not necessary.
The authors of the report continue that because of the global economic crisis the companies, which are funding the construction of the Olympic infrastructure, have found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy.
In their opinion, it is obvious that holding the full programme of Olympiad-2014 in Sochi will be a city's catastrophe, plundering of huge budgetary resources and construction of objects later needed by nobody.
The authors of the report believe that the only way out is to decentralize the Games. "The opening and closing ceremonies can be held in Sochi, and competitions in five sports connected with the mountain landscape, namely, mountain skiing, ski jumps, bobsleigh, skeleton and snowboarding. The remaining disciplines can be held in various subjects of the Russian Federation with use of already existing sports objects, having partially reconstructed them," Messrs Nemtsov and Milov suggest.
See earlier reports: "Olympic construction in Sochi lacks 3 billion roubles," "Nemtsov: Olympic construction in Sochi needs declassifying," "Sochi residents ask Medvedev for better "Olympic resettlement"," "Head of Russia's "Minprirody": shame to show Olympic sites to Putin," "Sochi residents are ready to reach European Court in fight for their rights," "Ecologists re-address UNESCO on threats to "Western Caucasus"."