NALCHIK, February 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Deputies of the local self-government council of highland Cherek district of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic on Wednesday voted for the establishment of the tourist cluster in the region. Fourteen deputies of the council voted for and three abstained. Those who abstained, residents of Verkhnyaya Zhemtala and Babugent settlements, decided they were not in the position to vote on the matter, as it concerned solely the residents of Bezengi settlement to part of whose territory the special economic zone of the tourist cluster will spread.
Makhti Temirzhanov, the head of the Cherek district of Kabardino-Balkaria, told Itar-Tass that the discussion of prospects for Elbrus-Bezengi tourist cluster continued for over three hours. As a result, Ismail Rakhayev, the head of the administration of Bezengi settlement, where a world class ski resort is planned to be built, declared for the construction of the tourist cluster on behalf of all residents of the settlement.
It was stressed that some 80 percent of the district’s residents are for the construction of the tourist cluster that will provide jobs for local people and offer prospects for development. Meanwhile concern was expressed by some local residents whose vegetable gardens might shrink with the inevitable widening of the highway.
Deputies suggested that representatives of the North Caucasus Resorts state corporation should visit the district and tell people which facilities will be built on which cites.
Temirzhanov told Itar-Tass earlier that the absolute majority of residents of highland districts favor the construction of the tourist cluster in the republic and link their expectations with its development. Five out of the seven mounts of the Caucasus over 5,000 meters tall are located in the Bezengi gorge where the construction of the ski resort Elbrus-Bezengi is planned. Temirzhanov said a problem is posed by the fact that almost all young people were leaving Bezengi in the recent years in search of employment, settlements were becoming deserted, the link between the generations was broken. Meanwhile the construction of the ski runs, cableways and hotels and the work to provide services to tourists later can give jobs to all residents of the district, Temirzhanov told ltar-Tass.