On November 18, activists of the public movement "My Kirov" held a picket near the Kirov administration building against high tariffs for heating and electricity. They collected signatures under a petition demanding the creation of a public commission that would solve the problem of unreasonably high costs for public services in Kirov. The correspondent of «7x7» visited the picket and listened to the stories of its participants.
The action began exactly at the appointed time, at 13:30. About 15 young people stood in a semicircle near the building of the mayor's office holding posters: "We demand cutting heating tariffs", "Winter is coming! Who will freeze this time? And who will answer?","Half of the salary for utility bills. How to live?".
The organizer of the picket Kirill Pisny appealed to the audience:
"The main problem of the oncoming winter is the lack of heating in some houses, delays or insufficient heating of radiators. This may be caused by different reasons, but we all pay a lot. It turns out that electricity and heating are produced by the CHP simultaneously, and most of the year, thermal energy is a by-product from electricity generation, for which we, in comparison with other regions, also overpay. Therefore, today we have gathered to express our protest to the money that we pay to management companies."
He added that the picket participants can sign the petition, which will be sent to the Legislative Assembly, the regional government and to the city administration. The main requirement of the petition is to create a commission of civil activists, deputies, experts and officials to solve the problem of overestimated tariffs.
Several people held posters demanding to return the debts to the Kirov biochemical plant. Both Kirill Pisny and the police persuaded the man holding such a poster to remove it, because it "does not correspond to the topic of the picket". After a short dispute, the man removed the poster and left.
Other participants of the picket told the journalists their stories. Resident of the district Veresniki Lyubov lives in a three-room apartment in a wooden house that was built in 1960. Veresniki is often drowned during high water, wooden houses in the neighborhood "are in a deplorable state".
"Water can be up to 80 centimeters. We are surrounded by rats. During the Soviet Union we were helped – with wallpapers, paint, sidewalks. And after perestroika everything collapsed, no more help. Now all pipes in the house have rotten, everything collapsed. We call the management company, they do not even arrive, because it's impossible to do something. Our house is impossible to live in, it was determined for demolition. We had two trials. The first confirmed that we need to be provided with an equivalent housing, but the regional administration applied for rehearings, and we were simply refused, they just laughed at us. And we continue to pay for housing and communal services! We pay about five thousand!" said Lyubov.
According to the woman, apartments are cold — up to 8 degrees above zero. Some people buy three heaters.
Another participant Rimma lives in interim housing. In 2003, her house burned down, her family rented an apartment for several years, and in 2009 moved to a municipal building.
"The house is in neglected condition, the pipes are all rotten, there is practically no heating. There are heaters in each apartment. Last year I lived in apartment 22, ceilings have fallen, almost onto a child. We were moved to other apartments in December. But there were no radiators at all! The woman who lived here before me, installed her own radiator, and took it with her," Rimma complained.
She needs to pay for utilities of both apartments. The woman can not get an answer neither from the management companies, nor from the authorities of the mayor's office, and continues to pay.
One of the women holding a poster was concerned about the amount of utility tariffs paid by her parents.
A student named Nikita rents an apartment and the price for utilities had risen significantly for the last month, from 3 to 5 thousand.
The picket lasted about half an hour. During this time, according to the organizer, about 50 people signed the petition.
Katerina Klepikovskaya, video by N. Pivovarov, photo by A. Mikryukov, «7x7»