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Saakashvili’s Soviet heritage2010-03-04 23:23
In Georgia, the 4th of March was declared a day of mourning over the four miners that died in the mine of Tkibuli. As was initially estimated, the tragedy was attributed to the methane leakage. President of the republic expressed his condolences to the relatives and family members of the dead people. At the same time, the Georgian leader promised to undertake all the possible measures to prevent similar incidents. Still, it will be difficult indeed to achieve that purpose in the context of the Georgian national industry total decay.
In the time of the USSR, the leading branches of the Georgian industry included the food industry, chemical industry, machine-building and ferrous and non-ferrous industry. The republic was engaged in producing automobiles and locomotives; metal mining was also set up.
As soon as the Soviet Union collapsed, the industry sector in Georgia started shaking: the production rate grew and fell in turns. The year of 2006 became the most successful one for Georgia when the production rate grew twice in some of the branches. This was mostly attributed to the fact that such enterprises as the integrated iron-and-steel works in Rustavi and the Chiaturmarganets works were still operating.
However, their time came as well. The license for the ore mining in Chiatura that provided the major share of the Soviet manganese export in the 60-80s passed from one investor to another, and finally in 2008 the Chiaturmarganets works went bankrupt. The government was unable to find the latest owners of the enterprise, against whom the wage arrears and pension payment claims were made.
By the way, in a year, the Union of Doctors demanded that the government should protect the health of the local people of Chiatura. Investigations revealed the people's health deterioration as a result of manganese poisoning. Moreover, in 2007, seven thousand people were found to be ill with cancer, of which four thousand and a half died.
According to the experts' data, the disease was caused by the manufacturing waste from the processing of manganese ores that contaminated the river of Kvirila, so long as the chemical element was present in the local drinking water in large amounts. In his talk with GeorgiaTimes correspondent, economical expert Dietrich Muller underlined that the mines in Chiatura are not equipped with disposal facilities and are running obsolete equipment. According to the witnesses, in Chiatura, the ore is mined with "spades and picks". "Some creatures resembling people produce concentrate in a building with no windows and with partially fallen floor and ceilings", - a blogger describes the mine he visited.