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Vladimir Putin demands people affected in the Krymsk flood should not be deprived of compensations

February 06, 2013, 10:54 UTC+3

A devastating flood, which resulted in numerous casualties among local residents, broke out in Krymsk in early July 2012

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A small Kuban city Krymsk is under special presidential control already for seven months. A devastating flood, which resulted in numerous casualties among local residents, broke out in Krymsk in early July 2012. President Vladimir Putin visited the emergency area, took several urgent decisions over monetary compensations to people affected in the flood for their lost housing and property. The compensations stirred up a scandal. Local residents are dissatisfied with the sums of the damages, which the state officials calculated for them. The local authorities claimed that some people allegedly received the financial aid illegally. The law enforcement agencies and the courts brought them to account now.

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin raised again the problems of Krymsk, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The president was discussing with officials of the federal agencies and authorities of the Krasnodar Territory the progress of fulfilling the instructions for the cleanup of the aftermaths of the flood, in which the city was strongly damaged in early July 2012. In particular, the issues related with the overhaul of the residential houses, which were damaged in the inundation, were discussed.

The Krymsk residents are discontent with an incorrect, in their opinion, calculation of the compensations that they are entitled to. The territorial authorities brought to account those, who, in their view, misused the situation and got the financial aid from the state authorities illegally.

The newspaper recalled that the flood broke out in the Krasnodar Territory overnight to July 7. The inundation flooded over 7,000 houses in the towns Gelendzhik, Krymsk and Novorossiysk and several rural settlements. The hardest hit of the flood was Krymsk and the Krymsk district, where 153 people died, over 60,000 people were found as the victims of the flood. Most of them received compensations for fully or partially lost property of 150,000 roubles each.

The court found a Krymsk woman guilty of an attempt of fraud to get a compensation after the July flood and sentenced her to 11 months of limitation of freedom, the press service of the territorial prosecutor’s office reported on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Putin explained that the Krymsk residents should not be judged strictly to say the least, as the compensations overpaid to them should not be confiscated, and bring the money back to those, who had already returned the compensations under the court rulings. “The decision is the following: people should be left alone and all these funds that they already have should be left for them and the compensations that they had already returned should be brought back,” the Russian president stated.

“The legal grounds” for the confiscation of these compensations can certainly be found, but political and moral damages from these actions are much higher than financial,” chairman of the bar Your Lawyer Konstantin Trapaidze said. He suggested that the damages and the sums of the compensations should be estimated by the methods, which the officials in charge approved. The compensations were paid on legal grounds and people, who were affected in the flood, cannot be brought to account. To confiscate these compensations as illegal incomes is wrong and immoral, Trapaidze said in conclusion.

The total sum of overpaid compensations to the flood victims reached 26 million roubles, the Vedomosti daily reported. However, even larger unplanned funds were spent from the budget for restoration. The budget expenditures reached 16.5 billion roubles that is twice higher than the planned sum.

At a meeting with the president an official from the Ministry of Regional Development failed to explain, why the expenditures grew.

The estimated costs in the state-funded construction projects are growing manifold not for the first time, the newspaper reported. For instance, the initial expenses for the run-up to the Sochi Olympics were estimated at 320 billion roubles, including 190 billion roubles from the federal budget. In the preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Regional Development, the expenses will be fivefold higher to reach 1.5 trillion roubles (the expenditures from the federal budget were not reported).

The run-up to the APEC summit in Vladivostok was estimated at 148.5 billion roubles, but finally reached 679.3 billion roubles. The preparations to the Universiade-2013 in Kazan were estimated at 600 million euros, but it was already stated about 100-120 billion roubles from the federal budget alone.

At least two reasons are behind the growth of expenses, a federal official said, “First, the construction programs are changing, new facilities are built. Secondly, the prices of the building materials are really getting higher.”




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