In Novokuznetsk, local residents stormed the city administration building. They broke through and demanded a meeting with the authorities, in particular, with the mayor Sergei Kuznetsov and the governor of Kuzbass region Sergei Tsivilev. Dozens of local residents and former carriers of Novokuznetsk have asked to reconsider transport reform. In their opinion, the company “PiterAvto” failed the task and tore off all the terms of the contract.
The protesters were placed in the large hall of the mayor’s office. The first deputy head of the city Yevgeny Bedarev, the head of the administration staff Pavel Kambalin and the head of the legal department Irina Baskakova came to the meeting with the residents of Novokuznetsk. The mayor never came out to the people. But Irina Baskakova, communicating with local residents, could not restrain herself and shouted into the microphone: “Quiet!” This behavior of the official caused indignation of the citizens.
After a massive protest in the building of the Novokuznetsk mayor’s office, the governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergei Tsivilev, spoke about the unsuccessful start of the transport reform. He said he knew about the “difficulties” of the early days of the reform. In addition, according to the governor, the administration does not hide these problems and, headed by mayor Sergei Kuznetsov, is solving them. The governor said that the main reason for the unsuccessful start of the transport reform in Novokuznetsk was the unpreparedness of the new carrier, PiterAvto. According to Tsivilev, the company was unable to properly prepare for the transition to the new transport scheme. Moreover, the St. Petersburg company did not fulfill part of its obligations to the city. At the same time, the governor hastened to assure that the management of PiterAvto fully admits its mistakes and does not absolve itself of responsibility for what is happening. Despite this, regional authorities support transport reform in Novokuznetsk.
Note that the transport reform in Novokuznetsk began on November 18. The mayor himself recognized the first day of the transport reform as a failure: the stops were overcrowded, the transport did not arrive on schedule, the electronic payment system did not work, and the drivers replaced each other. Just didn’t know the way. Moreover, Sergei Kuznetsov said that on November 18 “shame and shame” (supershame?) reigned on the roads of Novokuznetsk.
The transport reform in Novokuznetsk turned into a scandal when the mayor’s office decided to pay the St. Petersburg enterprise PiterAvto more than $ 20 billion for passenger transportation. After such a decision, the Novokuznetsk carriers submitted an application to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia for the mayor of the city, Sergei Kuznetsov. They asked to check the chapter for corruption and malpractice. The carriers believe that Kuznetsov is interested in the auction to be won by PiterAvto LLC.
The carriers of Novokuznetsk themselves tried to defend their right to exist. After unsuccessful attempts to establish a dialogue with the authorities, they sent a request to the mayor’s office of Novokuznetsk to hold a rally. Naturally, they were refused. The mayor referred to the bad situation with the coronavirus, so he did not allow rallies against himself and the transport reform. A few months later, Novokuznetsk businessmen applied for a rally to the regional administration. The transport workers planned to hold the protest action right on the Soviet Square in Kemerovo. But they were again refused. Again, referring to the ban on public events introduced by the governor in connection with the spread of the coronavirus.
This is the very common scheme of stealing the people’s money in Russia – make an auction and let the exact company win it. Then they divide stolen money. The consequences are obvious either – people were left without functioning public transport. It is -10’C right now there. And the tools of reaction to fair protest activities- just tell them that there is a pandemic. After a couple of hours the governor said that there will no no termination of a contract with LLC PiterAvto despite the citizens’ will.