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Dmitry Medvedev urged regional leaders to put an end to corruption in allotting land for housing construction
First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged regional leaders to put an end to corruption in allotting land for housing construction and allot land only on a competitive basis. “This corruption knot must be cut completely and for good,” Medvedev said during a teleconference with regional leaders on Wednesday. He asked the Southern Federal District, particularly the Volgograg region, to give this issue special attention. Addressing Volgograg region Governor Nikolai Maksyuta, he said that out of 43 land plots allotted for the high-rise housing construction in the region only one was provided on a competitive basis. “This is not the model we are trying to create,” Medvedev said. Despite Maksyuta’s objections that this happened under the previous mayor of Volgograg, Medvedev said, “The situation is not changing”. He stressed the need to use law enforcement agencies to fight corruption more effectively. Medvedev promised to discuss this issue with Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov next week. Primorye Territory Acting Governor Alexander Kostenko said there was little free land in the region for development. “The military have it but they don’t use properly,” he added. Kostenko recalled that he had reported the situation to Medvedev during his trip to the Far East asked him “to keep the situation under control”. “We will discuss this issue with the Defence Minister next week. Judging from what you said, the situation is not changing the way we would like it to change, ” Medvedev said. He also said that new amendments to the City Planning Code would solve this problem in the Far East. Leningrad region Governor Valery Serdyukov also complained that this problem was quite acute in the North-Western Federal District. There are many land plots belonging to the Defence Ministry, the Navy or the Board Guard Service that “are not used but at the same time not handed over for business needs”. “There are abandoned cantonments that not longer operate but the dm does not transfer their land to municipalities,” he said. Meanwhile, “the military auction officers’ houses, dormitories, and canteens, but dilapidated housing remains the responsibility of municipal authorities”, Serdyukov said. In some cases, the Defence Ministry retain control over land, while shifting the burden of maintaining utility infrastructure to local authorities. Medvedev admitted that “this is a complex but solvable problem”. “We had the problem of agricultural land but we took it off the ground. And we will tackle this one too,” he added. The head of the Federal Agency for Construction and Housing and Communal Services, Sergei Kruglyak, said land for high-rise housing construction must be allotted only through auctions. “The president of Russia has said before that auctions won’t be stopped. Land may not be allotted today without auctions,” Kruglyak said.
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