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ULAN UDE, August 31 (Itar-Tass) — Participants in the Battered Roads motor-rally along the Vladivostok-Kaliningrad route on Wednesday are riding about Chita. The motor rally has been organized under the auspices of the All-Russia Popular Front.
An official at the Zabaikalye (area beyond Lake Baikal) Territory regional branch of the United Russia party has told Itar-Tass, "They are to meet with local authorities and activists to discuss the most acute issues that are uppermost in the minds of Russian motorists, such as fuel prices, transport tax rates, Civil Responsibility Insurance, technical inspection procedure, blood alcohol tests, etc."
The motorists are riding about Chita streets to estimate the quality of road surfacing upon declining an official protocol-suggesting sightseeing tour of the city.
It is planned that on Wednesday evening, the motorists in downtown area will contact Prime Minister Vladimir Putin within the scope of a video conference. They are to tell the Premier how his assignments concerning the development of the Federal Chita-Khabarovsk road ("Amur" Highway) are carried out.
Participants in the video conference are substantively to discuss matters of current importance concerning the maintenance and development of the Federal motor-road network, as well as the functioning of the roadmaking sector as a whole. Special attention is to be devoted to the results of accomplishment of respective assignments that were earlier given by Putin in this respect, the government press service reported.
Vice-Premier Sergei Ivanov, Transport Minister Igor Levitin and Communications Minister Igor Shchyogolev, as well as representatives of other ministries and agencies concnerned, and the chiefs of building companies will take part in the conference.
The organizers of the Vladivostok-Kaliningrad month-long motor rally, which began on August 25, are aiming mainly on creating a system of public control over the condition of Russian roads.
Participants in the motor rally are to ride via such large cities as Khabarovsk, Chita, Ulan Ude, Irkutsk, Kurgan, Chelyabinsk, as well as small populated areas with a view to gainig full and objective picture of current road problems.
Participants in the motor rally mak entries in their Internet diary about their journey across Russia. Fresh impressions are described in their notes about a ride along the Amur Highway.They met with the builders of that road from the roadbuilding company Trud (labour). Company chief Sergei Ten told the motorists about the peculiarities of road construction in Zabaikalye. His estimate is that "the most difficult problem is posed by permafrost, a phenomenon which has not been fully studied here".
Owing to permafrost, a newly-built road's asphalt surfacing heaves while earth sags. Neverthless, the company gives a guarantee of eight years for the road "cushion" and five years for the roadbed. In the event of damage, the company does repairs on its own.