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MOSCOW, December 3 (Itar-Tass) — Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said he is dissatisfied with the work of road services at the M-10 highway where the 200-kilometre jam traffic lasted for three days.
Measures, which have been taken, were insufficient, Puchkov said at a session of the government commission for prevention and elimination of emergency situations on Monday.
Puchkov heard a report by deputy head of the Federal Highway Agency (Rosavtodor) Sergei Potapov, who said highway services had been prepared for the snowfall.
“We were 100-percent equipped with engineering technique and de-icer chemicals. The Tver region faced monthly mean precipitation and we were not ready for this,” Potapov said.
In his words, traffic has been intensive on the highway these days: about 30,000 cars have moved every 24 hours. “The jam emerged immediately. Trucks stand. The roadside was also full of transport that stood in five lanes to Moscow and out of the city,” Potapov said.
He believes that drivers’ were guilty of such situation.
Puchkov, who flew round the M-10’s problem areas, was dissatisfied with Potapov’s report. “I regret that you weren’t with me yesterday. You’d hear drivers and you’d see the number of technique on the highway and recovery vehicles,” the minister said.
“Was it difficult to use tractors? Why did fire-fighting vehicles take out stalled trucks and why didn’t you use technical support groups? Was it difficult to do? It turned out that dozens of thousands of transport had been gotten trapped because of one unprepared driver,” Puchkov said.
He stressed that it was necessary to minimise the consequences of calamities. “Let’s watch the key highways. The snow will start falling again. What, will we organise the commission’s session again and discuss these problems? Assess the state of affairs!” Puchkov stressed.