Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of Mollakand-Akhtachi-Oylagulu highway

17 september 2015, 15:30

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the inauguration of the Mollakand-Akhtachi-Oylagulu highway in Kurdamir.

Head of the Executive Authority of Kurdamir District Jeyhun Jafarov informed the head of state that the road links 13 residential areas with the total population of 12,000 people. The construction of the highway started under the Order of the head of state dated March 7, 2012.

A total of seven million manats were allocated from the President`s Contingency Fund for the construction of the road.

The highway, which is 28km in length and 8-10m in width, was provided with all necessary infrastructure.

President Ilham Aliyev met with local residents.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

- I am very glad to come to Kurdamir District again. This is not my first visit to Kurdamir. During my previous visits, we also got together and participated in various activities. There have been several remarkable events – I have attended the opening of the Kurdamir Olympic Sports Center, the commissioning of a refurbished Central District Hospital and the opening of other facilities. And today we are celebrating the opening of a rural road. People have been using this road for some time. But the official opening day of the road is today. It is a wonderful project, and I am delighted that this rural road has finally been built. Funds were allocated by the President three years ago, but unfortunately the previous leadership of the district treated this issue not very responsibly and the road was built rather poorly. After I was told about this, I issued a new instruction and the new leadership paid very serious attention to this matter and eliminated all the shortcomings. Those who committed the errors personally participated in the restoration work. As a result, this road now meets the highest standards.

In general, the construction of rural roads in Azerbaijan has become widespread. Roads are built mainly of good quality, but there are also poor quality roads. Therefore, this issue will be given permanent attention. Funds from the state budget and the Contingency Fund of the President are allocated, but people on the ground should take responsibility for this.

Today, the construction of rural roads is carried out by local executive authorities. This, of course, requires strong public control. The head of the Executive Authority tells me that after his appointment here people made numerous complaints in relation to this road. In other words, this is public control. If people had not raised this issue, I would not know. But now the road has been built at the proper level and is being put into operation. This should be the case everywhere.

Representatives of all executive bodies hearing me today should be aware that there is a serious oversight and strong control in all areas – it is public oversight. As people living here and seeing injustice, poor quality of road construction or other negative facts, you should, of course, send the right signals first to local executive authorities and, if there is no result, to central executive bodies. Therefore, public oversight in Azerbaijan should become even stronger. I have repeatedly said this and I want to say it again that everything we do should serve the interests of our people. This is the goal behind the construction of roads and the implementation of infrastructure projects – everything for the people, for the people of Azerbaijan. I want every district to have good roads, good health care and excellent schools, so that our people could use them and live comfortably.

With regard to infrastructure projects, the drinking water project in Kurdamir District has already been completed and the city receives a continuous supply of drinking water. This is a great event, because the problem of drinking water remained extremely acute for many years. This issue has been resolved. Water lines have been laid from a great and clean source of water, and there are no problems in the city now.

Work is also under way in relation to sewage. This project will be completed in 2016-2017. This will resolve another serious problem.

Drinking water is crucial for human health. Drinking water and sewage projects are implemented in all our regions today. This is a very serious matter purely social in nature, because the funds invested in these projects will never return to the state – we have very low water tariffs. All this work is intended only for people’s health and comfortable life.

Other infrastructure projects are also being implemented. The process of gasification is well under way in Kurdamir District. A promise has been made that gas supply will reach about 90 per cent by the end of the year. Work in many villages has been done and is still under way. These are projects being implemented on my instruction. Gas lines are being laid throughout Azerbaijan. Electricity, gas, drinking water, rural roads – these are key infrastructure projects. Trunk roads are also built.

I have driven down here from Baku today. The Baku-Kurdamir road is already expanding. We once laid a two-lane road from Hajigabul to Kurdamir. I participated in its opening several years ago. Then I instructed to make it a four-lane road because a two-lane road is a little dangerous, especially at night. When it has four lanes, safety is fully guaranteed and people can drive comfortably. The construction of a large part of this road has already been completed. The entire Silk Road from Baku to the Georgian border will be four-lane.

Today, we will also celebrate the opening of the Kurdamir-Imishli-Aghsu road. Highways, roads linking us with other countries, intercity and rural roads – these are three major road project.

Therefore, all our plans and programs will be fulfilled. The state program on the socioeconomic development of districts is being implemented. As you know, this year was declared a year of agriculture. There are good results in agriculture. For the first time in the history of grain production, we have managed to harvest 30-31 quintals per hectare. People engaged in agriculture are well aware that there have never been such results before. Why? Modern technologies and fertilizers are being applied. There is transparency in the provision of subsidies, machinery is purchased and leased. Of course, we must study the most advanced experience. At the same time, we are creating large farms where yields are even higher – 50-60 quintals per hectare. When did Azerbaijan have results like that? After all, 50-60 quintals per hectare is an indicator of the most developed countries. We now have about 20 large farms which employ thousands of people. They are modern farms, so by using the available land we can ensure our food security.

Further measures will be taken as well. Irrigated areas are expanding. You know that large water reservoirs and canals are under construction. Additional measures on the development of agriculture will also be taken in Kurdamir District. I know that there is a need for that. It is necessary to build canals. This work is also on our agenda because food security today comes to the fore in the world and this problem will gradually worsen. The world's population is growing, while land doesn’t. Therefore, each country must address this. Why should we buy food abroad?! We must produce it and sell abroad ourselves. We have already achieved that with some products, but we still depend on imports. Conditions are being created for farmers and peasants, so that they can earn and provide our people with quality products. This would be impossible to do without infrastructure projects. How can business develop without roads?! How can agriculture develop without gas, electricity, water and irrigation?! Therefore, with an integrated approach to these issues we can achieve results.

These goals were set back in 2004, when the first program of regional development was adopted. A third program is currently under way. It will be completed in 2018. However, our revenues are reducing in a sense. You know very well that the price of oil has dropped, and this is natural. Despite this, all projects related to economic development and social problems are being implemented, and sufficient funds will be allocated for the development of agriculture and social issues in next year’s budget. Our financial situation is stable. We rely on our own resources. Our foreign debt is also very low. We can pay it off in a matter of one day. We simply don’t do that because it is not necessary. We use loans for the time being, but we can live without them. Is there another country capable of repaying its external debt in one day? I don’t think so.

The external debt of some countries exceeds the gross domestic product. They are in the red and their debt keeps piling up. As a result, people suffer. But, as they say, the pyramid will one day collapse. If I issue a relevant instruction, we can pay our entire external debt in one day. This is our reality. We have a strong economy, a strong political will, the unity between the people and the government, roads like this, specific actions and tangible results. I have already attended the opening of a kindergarten and will take part in the opening of a rural school shortly. A local history museum has been renovated. A wonderful Flag Square has been built. So the new leadership has been doing these things over the course of one year. You, of course, are also involved and provide support for our country to become even stronger, not to depend on anyone and for the fate of Azerbaijan always to be in the hands of the Azerbaijani people. My congratulations again!

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They posed for photographers.

President Ilham Aliyev cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the highway.