Corrupt canalization system

CJSC "Resort" in the village of Buzovna, which is under the jurisdiction of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Azerbaijan, has launched a project for laying a sewer pipeline, which originates from the main sewer pipeline next to the boarding school nom.13 and then it follows to the Khazar sanatorium and the Sheki recreation center, which are located next to the sanctuary and the Ali Ayagi Mosque (Ali's Foot). The 2.4 km long pipeline partially consists of a propylene pipe with a diameter of 50 cm, and then it splits into two plastic pipelines with a diameter of 10 cm each. The Khazar Sanatorium is in a ruined state after refugees left it several years ago, and no work is being conducted there. The gates are tightly closed. Repairs are underway at the Sheki Recreation Center.        

The thing is that both objects are located much lower than the level from the sewer collector, which delivers sewage to the sewage treatment plant on Zagulba beach. And as the builders said, waste from the resort facilities will be pumped using special pumps (?!). Laying the sewer pipe was started in September 2023 and already has negative consequences. Sewage coming from apartment buildings in the village of Buzovna constantly spill out at the place where the new line was connected to the main network, and when it rains, the situation becomes even more deplorable – the drains tear the asphalt and break out, flooding the neighborhood along Lermontov and Akhundov Streets. The street where the pipeline is laid has fallen into disrepair and consists of separate patched pieces of low-quality asphalt and the soil subsides along the entire pipeline path. The work was conducted poorly, and if the pipeline is put into operation, accidents will be inevitable, as well as the release of sewage into the streets of the village.    

But the most important thing is that the project was implemented without the appropriate approval and permission of local government agencies, the Ministry of Ecology. The Turan Agency had to figure out for a long time who gave permission for the construction of the sewer, who is responsible for the construction, and who is the contractor. Government organizations and the Confederation of Trade Unions did not respond to written requests from the agency in accordance with the requirements of the legislation. The Agency was forced to connect the Ombudsman's office, with the help of which it was possible to scrape together some information. But the defendants did not respond to almost all requests on the merits.       

“Azersu” OJSC initially denied its involvement in the construction of this sewer,  then was forced to admit that it approved this project, but the work was conducted by a contractor. “Azersu” said that the Resort CJSC applied for the purpose of obtaining a feasibility study of the project back in 2019. On January 17, 2024, when Turan took over the investigation of the project, the water distribution company reported that there had been a repeated appeal from CJSC to “Azersu” for an extension of the project, which was satisfied. The reasons for the extension are not reported. There are serious doubts that at the time of the start of construction there was some kind of. The fact is that “Azersu,” like all departments involved in this sewer project, refused to provide all information about it.  The same position was taken by the Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU). For example, in a letter dated February 16, 2024, the  CTU informs that it is not obliged to respond to information requests from public associations and parties, as if not noticing that the request came from the media. But that is not the point. According to Article 9.1.2 of the Law on Obtaining Information, the CTU is obliged to respond to requests. CTU notes that the sewage system of the Khazar sanatorium has been rendered unusable by refugees, and therefore there is a need to restore it, as well as in the Sheki recreation center. However, Sheki was built relatively recently, was not captured by refugees and had its own sewerage system. No repairs are conducted in Khazar, and besides, the sanatorium, which was built in the early 60s, had its own wastewater treatment system, and they were never discharged to the collector.  It follows from the letter of the CTU that the trade unions applied to “Azersu” OJSC for the project and received it. On the basis of feasibility study, a project was drawn up by the “SuKanal” Research Institute. Then the project was approved by the Center for Territorial Planning and Construction of the State Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture. The contract for the performance of the work was concluded with the licensed contractor LLC "Repair VS Construction". The CTU does not disclose the dates of appeals and approvals of the maintenance and the project, the conclusion of an agreement with the contractor, information about the tender for the selection of the contractor.

The local executive authority of the Khazar district reported that the project had not been coordinated with local authorities. In a letter dated March 3, the first deputy head of the executive authority of the district, Elshan Gurbanov, said that the preparation of the project, its construction, use, and maintenance are conducted by “Azersu” OJSC. However, Gurbanov reports, due to the fact that the asphalt pavement fell into disrepair after the work, the Executive Power of the district complained to the Management of the Khazar district Water canal, a division of “Azersu” OJSC.

The State Agency for Environmental Expertise of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources was also not informed about the construction of the reservoir. The agency learned about the construction from Turan's appeal. In the letter, the state agency informs that there was no appeal from the relevant structures for the implementation of the sewerage line project. The Turan Agency was advised to contact the relevant responsible structures about the compliance of the construction with state standards and regulations. But the Ministry itself has not taken any measures in connection with the violation of the requirements of the Urban Planning and Construction Code (UPCC) of Azerbaijan regarding environmental aspects.

The State Committee for Construction and Architecture, which prepared and approved the project, did not respond to Turan's information request.

The Urban planning and Construction Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been grossly violated

It should be noted that construction works are regulated by the Urban Planning and Construction Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

The correlation of actions related to the implementation of this project with the provisions of the Code, which defines the policy, basic principles of urban planning and construction activities, shows a gross violation of the law by all state entities and trade unions. 

The project has not been coordinated with local authorities, although the UPCC indicates that the customer of the territorial planning is the relevant executive authority or municipality. Territorial planning documents are developed on the basis of a decision taken by the relevant executive authority or municipality. No actions were taken to ensure environmental safety and environmental protection, the public was not informed about the project, there were no interdepartmental and public discussions of the project.  According to the UPCC, public discussions are organized by the customer within 10 days from the date of preparation of the final draft of the territorial planning documents.  The customer informs the participants of the public discussion about the results of consideration of objections and proposals related to the draft territorial planning documents, territorial planning, and changes made in this regard to the draft territorial planning documents, as well as the reasons for rejecting objections and proposals.  The procedure for organizing and conducting public discussions related to territorial planning is established by the relevant executive authority.

The UPCC considers unacceptable the construction of which is envisaged, contradicts the master plan; there is a threat that the object, the construction of which is envisaged, will have a harmful effect on the environment or will itself be exposed to such an impact; the object, the construction of which is envisaged, requires the irrational use of state or municipal funds in connection with the creation of infrastructure, safety or health;  the object, the construction of which is envisaged, violates the interests related to the protection of the environment, land, cultural heritage objects or natural features of the landscape; the object, the construction of which is envisaged, poses a threat to water management or endangers protection from natural phenomena (floods).

The Law on Obtaining Information does not work

No state or public body has responded to the information request of the Turan agency within the time limits established by law – promptly up to 24 hours, and if the response requires special research, then up to a maximum of 7 working days. Although all the questions raised regarding information about the project could be submitted within a maximum of a couple of hours. But this was not the case in the practice of information requests from the Turan agency.  The answers came very late and not to the point of the questions.     

All the answers that were received in the case of the sewage project are incomplete, and were obtained through appeals to the Ombudsman. But even the Ombudsman's office eventually proved powerless and recommended that the Confederation of Trade Unions be sued. The experience of Turan's appeals to the court with a claim for non-compliance by the defendants with the law on obtaining information in overwhelming cases ended in nothing. The courts actually function as lawyers for the defendants. Trials are delayed for months to get an elementary answer, which takes little time to prepare.

During the entire time of communication with the Ombudsman's office, the financial sanctions provided for by law have never been applied against defendants for violating the law on obtaining information, despite the fact that monetary fines for violating this law have been increased. According to the Anti-Corruption Law, concealment and failure to provide information in full or in part is qualified as an action that creates conditions for corruption.

Where did 120 million manats go?

The village of Buzovna suffers from a lack of sewerage and fresh water. In the past, the water in the wells was fresh, but to increase the flow rate in oil wells from the early 60s of the last century, seawater began to be pumped into the layers at the “Buzovnyneft” field. In the early 70s, salinization of wells began. The level of groundwater has risen.  In 2014, the government decided to provide Buzovna and a number of other settlements with fresh water and sewerage. 120 million manats were allocated from the budget for this purpose. The money has gone. “Azersu” reported in 2018 that about 3 million manat had been disbursed, and the rest of the money did not reach the company.                  

On August 3, 2021, in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic, the State Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture summed up the results of the second stage of the competition "Architectural face of the Absheron settlements". The winners of the competition for the architectural layout of Buzovna village, which was held jointly with the General Directorate of Urban Planning and Architecture of Baku, the Union of Architects of Azerbaijan and Bakı Abadlıq Xidməti LLC, were announced. The main task is to create a unified architectural and artistic concept of the village, provided that its historical atmosphere is preserved, solving issues of landscape planning, improving socio-economic conditions for the population, landscaping the village, using solar panels, developing tourist infrastructure, organizing proper parking, creating pedestrian zones and bike paths, new sidewalks. That was the end of it. The opposite is happening – monuments, roads, a unique coastal landscape are being destroyed, and the environmental situation is deteriorating.

And finally, the Turan News Agency, according to the Soviet tradition, will send an article to the state and public structures indicated in the article with a request to express an opinion on the facts set out in the article, as well as to report on the measures taken to eliminate the facts of violation of the rule of law.

The Agency is also waiting for an answer to the questions in the information request that was sent to them and left unanswered:

1.Who is the customer of the project?

2.What is the purpose of the project?

3.What are the technical parameters of the project, what is its cost, implementation time?

4.Who pays for the project?

5.Who performs the work on the project?

6.Does the executor have experience in this area and what projects has he implemented so far?

7.When was the tender for the execution of Works held and which organizations took part in the tender?

In 8.2014, 120 million Manats were allocated from the budget for the construction of a water pipeline and sewerage system in Buzovna. Why hasn't the work been done so far?


To the Chairman of the State Committee for Urban Planning and architecture of AR Mr. Anar Guliyev

1.Has the sewage project been agreed with the State Committee for Urban Planning and architecture?

2.If the committee agreed to build a sewer line, on what grounds?

3.With which relevant government agencies was the issue of laying a sewer line agreed according to the requirements of the Urban Planning and Construction Code?

4.Is the progress of work monitored by the committee and what problems have been identified?

2603kanal2.pdf   -   3442-24.pdf   -  4649-24.pdf   -  İƏEH-qanun.pdf   -  Qoşma 4649-24 (2).pdf   -  rusif_0001.pdf

3442-24.pdf  -  4649-24.pdf  -  Qoşma 4649-24 (2) (1).pdf  -  rusif_0001.pdf

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