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National leader Heydar Aliyev's ideas continue to be realized in the development of water supply sector

Interview with  Chairman of Azersu company Gorkhmaz Huseynov

Q: During his years in power national leader Heydar Aliyev implemented several projects aimed at improving the water supply system in the country. We would like you to highlight the historical importance of these projects.

A: National leader Heydar Aliyev`s tenure as head of the Azerbaijan Republic in the Soviet period saw the development of all spheres of life, including water supply system.

During 1970-1971, the first Kura water pipe the capacity of which was 3.92 m3 per second was inaugurated. During 1978-1986, the second Kura water pipe system in the capacity of 6.3 m3 per second was constructed and put into operation parallel to the first Kura water pipe.

The construction of the Kura water pipes provided Gunashli and Ahmadli housing areas of Baku with drinkable water. At the same time, fundamental construction and reconstruction work was conducted in the water network within the city. The central water reservoir and pump stations that are crucial in the water supply were constructed. In 1960-70s, as there was water supply of 273 l per day for a man, in 1970-90s this figure was 450-500 l.

During 1951-1956, Jeyranbatan water reservoir was constructed in the place of “Deveyatagi” and “Jeyranbatan” saline ponds which are situated in the north-west of the Absheron peninsula and in 1957, the construction of Devechi-Samur canal the maximum capacity of which was 25 m3 per second was completed, and beginning from 1957 the water reservoir the capacity of which was 186.0 million m3 began to be filled with water.

One of the main superior features of this water basin is that water in this basin keeps its natural component for a long time and as a result, the quality of the water is increased in the clearing process. Today, the capacity of the water pipe is 9.5 m3 per second.

Q: Despite difficulties in the first years of independence national leader Heydar Aliyev attached great attention to ensuring the supply of quality water to the population. Could you please speak of the national leader`s services at that time?

A: National leader Heydar Aliyev`s ideas continue to be realized in the development of water supply sector.

In 1995 Azerbaijan launched talks with the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to attract loans for the reconstruction of the Jeyranbatan and Kur water purification facilities. As a result of these talks, which had been initiated by national leader Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan became the first country among the Commonwealth of Independent States to receive a multi-million dollar preferential loan.

The work to reconstruct Jeyranbatan and Kur water purification facilities started in 1998, and the project made a huge contribution to improving the quality of water supplied to the population.

Another project was a grant agreement on providing financial assistance to the reconstruction of pumping stations in Baku. It was signed by the Azerbaijani government, the World Bank and the government of the Swiss Confederation. Some 5.6 million US dollars were allocated to the Azerbaijani government under this project.

Q: We would like you to give an insight into the activities of Azersu, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary these days.

A: Order of June 11, 2004 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On improvement of management in field of water supply system in the Republic of Azerbaijan’ contributed, as the sign of big attention of the President to this field, to intensification of works carried out in the direction of implementation of reforms and improvement of management structure.

In frame of reforms and improvements performed according to that order, Absheron Regional Joint Stock Water Company was changed into Azersu JSC, and institutions and organizations of Bakykanalizasiya Production Union of Baku City Executive Power and Azersukanaltemir and Azerkendsutejhizat production unions, which have been shutdown, of State Construction and Architecture Committee in cities and districts of the republic were given to its subordination.

As result of structural reforms implemented to improve water supply and sewage service management in regions Birleshmish Sukanal Ltd was established, Sumgayit, Ganca, Sheki, Goychay and Aghdash water-sewage institutions were changed to affiliate JSCs. Water supply and sewage service institutions operating in the same time in the same districts and cities of the republic were merged and changed into mobile organizations, other structural improvements executed.

Important actions were taken in frame of the Regions Socio-Economic Development State Programme (2004-2008), Secondary Action Plan on Acceleration of Regions Socio-Economic Development, Action Plan on Acceleration of Socio-Economic Development of Baku City Settlements in 2006-2007 and etc, which were developed and approved upon respective orders of the head of state for assurance of stability in water supply, meeting the need in settlements for water, lifting the quality of water provided to consumers and improving the service, specific work plan determined for every district.

One of the most important steps taken by the Azerbaijani government in the water supply and sewerage sector was the Azerbaijani President`s signing an executive order to write off the debts of the consumer for water supply and sewerage system. The order was signed in 2011, and it saw the writing off of a total of 294.2 million manats of the population`s debts.

As you know, today, the large-scale renovation, construction work is carried out. 2011-2012 received more attention in this direction, and the state budget funds allocated for the reconstruction of water supply and sewerage systems are increasing year by year. At present, within the framework of the state programs important projects are carried out in the city and its districts, and regional centers and rural areas in rural areas.

We are implementing projects in the regions. In 2011 we received additional budget funds which were spent on improvement of water supply and sanitation systems in 11 cities - Quba, Hacıqabul, Kurdəmir, Ucar, Zardab, Imishli, Bilasuvar, Lankaran, Shamkir, Mingachevir and Qax. In Quba, Ucar and Qax cities the projects were launched personally by President Ilham Aliyev.