Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Lukashenka: Construction in Minsk should be minimized

Naviny.by / BelaPAN

It is necessary to keep the construction of housing and industrial infrastructure in Minsk down to a minimum, Alyaksandr Lukashenka directed on Friday, speaking during a government conference on the construction of houses in the Minsk region for the capital city’s residents.

"We cannot build in Minsk at the same pace as before," the Belarusian leader said, according to the government’s news agency BelTA. "We’ve already oversaturated the city with population and are beginning to see certain problems because of this. That is why the construction of housing as well as industrial facilities and other infrastructure should be an exception."

"Construction in Minsk is de facto prohibited, with the exception of where it is necessary," he added.

Housing shortages are a particularly serious problem in Minsk, whose population grows by 10,000 to 17,000 every year and has already exceeded two million, Mr. Lukashenka said. Minsk does not have enough land to accommodate new industrial facilities and people, and housing density in it is two to three times higher than in European capital cities, such as Berlin, and Prague, he said.

Mr. Lukashenka noted excessive pressure on the city infrastructure. Roads are congested because of heavy traffic, and new industrial facilities and houses are more difficult to connect to the utility infrastructure than before, he said. At the same time, working-age people are leaving rural areas and the population of small and medium-sized cities and their economic potential are shrinking, he said.

These processes are particularly intensive in the Minsk region, which is why it is becoming extremely important to coordinate the development of the city of Minsk and the Minsk region, Mr. Lukashenka said.

He noted that there were still a large number of land plots within the city limits that could be allocated for construction purposes. "These land plots should be put up for auction and sold in the most honest way," he said. Mr. Lukashenka ordered Andrey Kabyakow, head of the Presidential Administration, to work together with Alyaksandr Yakabson, head of the State Control Committee, and Alyaksandr Myazhuyew, state secretary of the Security Council, to ensure the transparency of the auctions.