In July 2021 Elnur Mammadov, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister "The smart village in Zangilan will be ready by January next year". But in the middle of January there has not been reports about the arrival of the first former refugees in a new village on the territory of the villages of 1-Agaly, 2-Agaly and 3-Agaly destroyed by the Armenians.
The director of the Center for Agrarian Science and Innovation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Akber Abbasov, postponed the deadline for the completion of the object. On January 11, he informed about “the approaching completion of work in the school and other facilities of the “smart village.” “The construction of four social buildings in the village will also be completed in a short time. In connection with the implementation of the "smart village" project, construction work is underway on an area of more than 110 hectares," he said.
Work is still in progress
In April 2021, President I. Aliyev ordered the creation of a working group of representatives of various ministries and departments to develop the concept of a "smart village" in the Zangilan region. The head of the group was appointed the Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, while the Ministry of Agriculture was appointed as the general customers of the project.
For 6 months of 2021, 10.8 million manats have been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture for the implementation of the Smart Village project. This ministry signed an agreement with the main executor of the project - the Azerbaijani company AS Group Investment. On the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, there is no information on the construction of the "Smart Village", contracts concluded on this project, and other information. Information about the exhibition stand at Rebuild Karabakh-2021 with the presentation of the Smart Village project was posted on the AS Group Investment website, but this page is currently missing.
For the first time, Azerbaijanis learned that not everything is in order in the construction of a smart village from the deceived workers, who at the end of December (2021) informed the video channel about a two-month non-payment of wages for work in Zangilan. In an interview with Turan, the workers said that they were deceived by the Turkish subcontractor hired by AS Group Investment, and AS Group itself pays wages to its workers and entered into labor contracts with them. After the publication of this scandal, the workers received their due and refused to return to Zangilan after the end of the New Year holidays. Then it was already possible to expect a breakdown of temporary obligations for the delivery of a gigantic object consisting of 200 residential buildings, four two-story non-residential buildings, a school for 360 pupils, a kindergarten for 60 children, an artificial lake and a micro-hydroelectric power station with an Archimedes screw. But why the reasons for the difficulties in construction are not communicated to the taxpayers, whose money is used to carry out work in the liberated region?
Or maybe the reason for the delay in work is that 10.8 million manats is very little for such a construction? Advertisements have offers for the sale of 2-3-storey villas at a price of up to 2 million manats. The village, intended to accommodate 1400 people at the first stage, cannot be built at the cost of six private villas. In any case, in about 30 photographs published on November 11 on the website of the Azertaj state agency, it is not visible that there are 200 residential buildings, even a photograph with 50 houses is not there. In the video on the Public TV channel, some of the footage of which was taken by a camera from a quadcopter, there is not a single frame in which at least 100 built houses could be seen.
When will the smart village really open?
In an interview with Turan, the construction worker Sahavyat Ismailov, who worked in Zangilan and quit due to violations of labor laws by the Turkish company hired by the general contractor, said that the delivery of the entire project would be impossible soon. "There are at least seven hundred engineers and workers working there. There can be no question of an early completion of the work. In the best case, everything will be handed over to the state in 7-8 months," Ismailov said.
Previously, he talked about the massive exodus of deceived workers from Zangelan. The press service of the Ministry of Agriculture did not answer phone calls on 13 January.
On January 6, the representative of AS Group Investment, Gunel Aliyeva, received a letter from Turan with seven questions about the deadlines for the completion of the Smart Village, the financing of the project, the number of employed workers, the reason for deceiving the personnel, and expert criticism of the compliance of the works with the concept of an ecological settlement. Despite a telephone conversation with her on January 13, Turan did not receive a response from the company.
On January 12, President I. Aliyev addressed the journalists invited to him from TV channels. In a long and detailed speech, he spoke, among other things, about bureaucratic corruption, the ineffectiveness of personnel transfers, and said that he relied on the press, from which he received information about shortcomings in the state. The president's words directly relate to what is happening now in the historical Zangilan village of Agali - something is being built there, but nothing else is known. The participants in the event hide what is happening from the public and the press.
On October 17, President I. Aliyev got acquainted with a new project "smart village", which will be laid in the village of Dovletyarly, Fizuli region. Agriculture Minister Inam Kerimov informed the head of state and first lady about the project. According to the "smart village" project, which will use green and alternative energy, the "smart management" system, at the initial stage it is planned to build a total of 450 three, four and five-room houses. A school and a kindergarten will also be built here; it is planned to create a square and a market in the center of the village. A “smart agriculture” section will be located around the village. The most striking thing is that the project "smart village Dovletyarly", which by the number of houses is twice as large as "the village of Agali", is promised to be completed at the end of this year. The Ministry of Agriculture has laid down a deadline that is more impracticable than promised last year for a village in the Zangilan region.
Our officials do not learn from their mistakes ...