The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast
The 11th session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the fifth convocation took place on July 26, 2012. The session was broadcast online. The agenda of the session and the bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand.
Oksana Kozlovskaya, Duma Speaker opened the session with her traditional address to the deputies (Full text of the Speaker’s speech).
Tomsk Oblast is in state of emergency because of forest fires
FIRES IN THE FOCUS OF ATTENTION
First of all, the deputies discussed the current forest fire situation and the measures to prevent and fight forest fires in Tomsk Oblast. This problem was already raised on July 17 at the meeting of the Committee for Legislation, State Structure and Safety. Given the criticality of the issue, it was decided to consider it at the forthcoming Duma session.
In her opening address, Oksana Kozlovskaya made a strong point of the fact that regional forests are still in state of emergency. Over the last few days the region received strong support from other regions which provided people and equipment. There is, however, no significant improvement partially due to the fact that there are people who continue going to the forest in spite of the ban.
Largest fires in 22 years
Deputy Governor Andrey Trubitsyn described the current forest fire situation in the Oblast. He provided the forest fire numbers for 2011 for comparison. Over the entire fire season 2011 in Tomsk Oblast which lasted 194 days 235 fires were recorded. As of today, 410 forest fires have been identified over just 90 days. The total area of the fires is rapidly growing. In 2011 over the entire fire season it totaled 8,300 sq km, and this year it is already 68,000 sq km.
Currently, 2,100 people are involved in fire fighting activities. They work for 40-50 days on average almost without breaks.
Aviation remains an important means of fighting forest fires in Tomsk Oblast. Last year aviation made 273 flight hours over the fire season. This year the total flight hours have already exceeded 1,000.
Availability of equipment is calculated based on average indicators of the fire season. Over the last few years equipment availability has significantly improved. After the 2010 fires Rosleskhoz announced that every year 5bn rubles would be allocated to Russian regions to purchase forest fire stations. In 2011 the region replaced some fire-fighting equipment and bought new forest fire stations for the money obtained from federal and own sources.
However, problems with funding still remain. Funding of fire-fighting activity is the responsibility of the federal government. Since last year the federal budget owes Tomsk Oblast 12m rubles. This money would have been just enough to pay for the aviation services, and it was not there when the moment came.
As of July 25, the required amount of funding is estimated at 136m rubles. The Oblast has already solicited this money from the federation in the shortest possible time.
Andrey Trubitsin also made a point of improved performance of the control service.
Today, additional resources, military reserves, and Emercom teams have been drawn to the region. There are 7 Mi-8 helicopters, and an An-2 airplane. Yesterday a 10-ton Mi-26 helicopter and a Be-200 plane arrived. They are starting today. The Mi-26 will work in the south of the region – in Krivosheinsky, Molchanovsky, and Tomsky Districts. The Be-2000 will pour water on Strezhevoy and Aleksandrovsky District.
Fighting fires with explosions
Another important factor is equipment.
We have agreed with the air companies and fuel suppliers that they would ensure stable supply of fuel and aircrafts.
High hopes are now being pinned on explosion work. The first explosions will be carried out tomorrow in Bakcharsky District.
The Deputy Governor stressed that forest fires are a complex problem which cannot be resolved in a day. For that reason, a long-term target program “Sustainable forest management in Tomsk Oblast” was developed. One of its largest sections is devoted to the protection of forests. The program will be launched in 2013 and will help resolve the most pressing problems such as own aircrafts.
People are the cause
Andrey Trubitsyn explained that the smoke and smog blanket on Tomsk during the last few days was largely caused by human factor.
“Only 6 out of 35 existing fires were caused by lightning. Only 20% of all forest fires can be attributable to weather conditions. According to the statistics, the most recent fires in Krivosheinsky, Pervomaisky and Tomsky District which covered the Oblast center with smoke, were caused by people. If we fail to prevent people from going to the forest and make them realize that it is not safe, we are going to have new fires each day.
People must learn to understand the vulnerability of forests.
Emercom protects the people
The Head of the Chief Administration of Russian Emercom in Tomsk Oblast Igor Kirzhakov reported on the actions already taken. Emercom is responsible for preventing and eliminating emergency situations in populated areas. As part of the preparation for the fire season the Emercom counted all exposed populated areas. Currently, there are 62 populated places located in the middle of a forested area. Forests are in close neighborhood of 228 settlements. All exposed settlements were instructed beforehand on fire prevention measures. They were implemented in full scope.
Mobile quick reaction groups were organized and put on standby. The mobile groups consist of 175 people. The Oblast received 100 people from the Siberian reserve of the Russian State Fire Service.
Address by Sergey Zhvachkin
“The Emercom website publishes the online map of forest fires which can answer any question about the status of fire-fighting efforts. The today’s situation is hard, especially in Tomsk Oblast which is traditionally proud of its forests. As for the effectiveness of the efforts, the numbers speak for themselves: out of 444 fires only 30 currently remain. People work in the forest for 50 days without a single day off. We have set up an information center which collects proposals and comments. We are aware of all current problems with equipment, people and permits. Now I would like to draw your attention to the causes of fires. Initially, the fires were started by dry thunderstorms. However, the most recent fires started over the weekend. Another weekend is coming. I call on the deputies to interfere. Each one of you has thousands of voters behind. We must act to better inform people that for a while they must stay away from the forest or, once there, must not make fires or throw cigarette stubs. While we manage to suppress 10 fires, 12 new fires emerge. Almost all of them are caused by human negligence. What is going on in the Oblast today? We are setting ourselves on fire. We establish checkpoints but people ignore them, drive round and illegally enter the forest. The federation center is providing every kind of support we are requesting. We have received 100 foremen from the Siberian reserve recently. We have requested 100 million rubles for all the compensation work. Our key challenge today is to suppress all fires. I promise that we will develop a special program to address forest fires in the future. We will certainly discuss it in more detail at the next Duma session. Also, a special commission will be created to evaluate the performance of all functions and I invite you to join the effort.”
FINES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE WITH STATE OF EMERGENCY REQUIREMENTS
The deputies adopted amendments to the law “On fire safety in Tomsk Oblast”. A provision on preventive controlled burning was added to the main body of the law. Controlled burning of dry vegetation on land is essential for landscape fire prevention.
The deputies also introduced amendments to the Administrative Code of Tomsk Oblast by adding administrative liability for burning dry vegetation on land (with the exception of controlled burning). Fines for individuals are 1,000-3,000 rubles; for public officers 3,000-7,000 rubles; and for legal entities 10,000-25,000 rubles.
Another amendment establishes administrative liability for violating forest access restrictions. Fines for individuals are 1,000-3,000 rubles; for public officers 3,000-7,000 rubles; and for legal entities 10,000-25,000 rubles.
The amendments are aimed at preventing emergency situations and creating conditions for better protection of forests and improved fire safety in populated areas.
GAZPROM TO ALLOCATE 7.5BN RUBLES FOR GAS SUPPLY SYSTEMS IN THE OBLAST
Tomsk Oblast is getting prepared for serious transformations of its gas supply systems. OAO Gazprom is going to implement in Tomsk Oblast its investment program and the long-term target gas supply program 2015. The deputies considered amendments to the law which defines the procedure for the selection of capital construction investment projects. The changes primarily concern the amount of co-financing. According to the draft gas supply program the co-financing ratio will be 95% Oblast budget and 5% local budget (instead of currently applied 80% and 20% respectively).
The bill was passed in the first reading.
NEW AMENDMENTS TO THE BUDGET
The total Oblast budget revenues were increased by 134,218,000 rubles by means of non-repayable receipts from the federal budget. The expenditures grew by almost 1.2bn rubles and the budget deficit reached 1.62bn rubles.
- 100m rubles will be spent on fighting forest fires in Tomsk Oblast
- 511m rubles will be allocated to local budgets to develop design specifications and cost estimates for the gas supply program. This spending is to ensure that the municipalities are prepared for the start of the gas supply program in 2013.
The amendments were passed in two readings. The adjusted revenues of the 2012 Oblast budget are 40bn rubles, expenditures 41.5bn rubles and the deficit 1.2bn rubles.
NEW FUNDING RULES FOR PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
The deputies passed amendments to the law “On education in Tomsk Oblast” in the first reading.
From July 1, 2012 funding of education in private educational institutions with national accreditation is provided by the government of Tomsk Oblast. The amount of funding will cover key general education programs.
Currently, Tomsk Oblast has three private educational institutions with national accreditation. The total number of students there is 426 school and 14 preschool students.
The funding provided by the government will cover expenses related to the implementation of national educational standards such as teachers’ salaries, textbooks, school equipment, toys, consumables. Additional budget spending on the implementation of the amended law starting with July 1 totals 5m rubles. The annual demand in funds is a little more than 10m rubles.
Each year 250,000 people in Russia get injured in road accidents, according to the statistics. How many of them will survive depends, among other things, on the promptness and quality of medical assistance. It is therefore important to work on improving medical help to the victims of road accidents.
The deputies considered a bill on a budget transfer to fund this work. The money will be spent on basic and further training of medical staff in municipal hospitals of Tomsk such as City Childrens’ Hospital No. 4, Emergency Ward, and City Emergency Care Hospital. These medical facilities are providing medical care to the victims of road traffic accidents under the agreement between the Russian Ministry of Health and the Tomsk Oblast Administration. The money required to provide training to doctors is 5.2m rubles.
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