30 july 2014

Central Asia news

Good bye the Tashkent Public Garden!

23.11.2009 08:29 msk

Ferghana.Ru

Uzbekistan

Photos are provided by Ferghana.Ru correspondents as well as the residents of Tashkent

In the last few days the planes in the heart of Tashkent have been exposed to brutal deforestation by local authorities. The municipal government is cutting chenars, planted at the end of XIX century by the order of Governor-General Chernyaev when the first part, known as Public Garden, appeared in the current capital of Uzbekistan.

Today, chenars, once the objects of state protection, are being totally cut down. They are bucked into three-meter long beams and transported by dump trucks. At the same time, other workers stub the stumps of other trees.

By Monday morning of November 16 over half of entire public garden was cut off.

Фото с веб-сайта Uforum.Uz

Ferghana.Ru correspondent learned from Tashkent committee for environmental protection that the trees are being eliminated "by the personal order of the President". The anonymous worker of this committee also informed that if the order was issued by the lower rank official, it could be officially commented and, perhaps, objected. "The order from the President is not subject for discussion".

Фото с веб-сайта Uforum.Uz

The true reasons of trees elimination are not even discussed. Nobody is going to direct the question to the President although some persistent people may still get the answer.

- I do not know the reasons for such action but I assume it could be preventive measures against deceased trees. The trees in the area of Academic town were cut the same way – says journalist Natalia Shivaldova, covering environmental issues.

The elimination of plants is in full progress. November 15, 2009
The elimination of plants is in full progress. November 15, 2009

The naked eye can see that despite long age the trees are absolutely healthy. The experts see the true reason in the intention of the government to open circular panorama of recently constructed The Palace of Forum and the monument of Amir Timur.

The monument of Amir Timur
The monument of Amir Timur

Another opinion indicates that the automobile road will be expanded for another 5 meters, replacing the Public Garden trees.

The elimination of trees, hiding certain building, is called "to open façade" by the architects. This is the reason why few years ago three big chenars were cut off at the front door of the bank. Dozens of years ago these trees were separated "and protected by the state". Such notes disappeared in the newly independent republic.

Уничтожение ташкентского сквера

Overall, it became common in Tashkent to cut off healthy trees. Given the absence of domestic industrial wood, these trees are often times used to produce furniture. The entire grove is cut down in the vicinity of Chilanzar few years ago; it was replaced by supermarket. The local schoolchildren even organized the protest against the elimination of planes; unfortunately, it did not work out.

Сквер
Ташкент, центральный сквер. 13 ноября 2009 года.

Tashkent Public Garden. November 13, 2009.

At the same time, no newspaper in Uzbekistan dares write about such issues since all environmental issues here, as well as in any other undemocratic place, are directly linked with politics. It is dangerous to cover the cutoff of trees: the newspaper may be shut down while the leader of environmental organization will lose job.

On the other hand, there is Environmental movement in Uzbekistan that is going to take over 15 seats in the parliament. It is headed by Boryi Alikhanov, former Chief of State Committee for Environment; therefore, the pro-state orientation of this movement is obvious. It is logical to witness how Environmental movement of Uzbekistan ignored the elimination of trees in the Public Garden.

Сквер
Ташкент, центральный сквер. 13 ноября 2009 года.

Tashkent Public Garden. November 13, 2009.

- We have professional environmentalists also in State Committee for Environment, concerned about current issues. On the other hand, if they oppose politicians they will lose jobs immediately – says anonymous ecologist with 20 year experience. – In such case these ecologists will be replaced by unknowledgeable officials. Therefore, we are forced to keep silence.

The elimination of planes at the garden of Amir Timur was named as "barbarian act". Indeed, it used to be the favorite planes of the city dwellers. In the times of Soviet Republic there were a couple of restaurants. After the collapse of USSR all these buildings were removed by beautiful fountains.

The monument of Karl Marx was located in the Public Garden. 1960-1990
The monument of Karl Marx was located in the Public Garden. 1960-1990

The monument in the center of the Public Garden has long history. In various period it was dedicated to the first Governor-General Kaufman, the October revolution, Stalin, Karl Marx and Amir Timur.

Nonetheless, the major attraction of the Public Garden was definitely the long standing trees. It used the meeting place for loving couples, senior citizens and other dwellers. Once the Garden loses its historical planes it is unlikely that it will keep the status of one of the most beautiful places in the city…

Public Garden, 2008
Public Garden, 2008

At the current location of the Public Garden there used to be wide open space in the past, dusty in the hot weather and muddy under rain. What is going to be next?

The Public Garden. November 15, 2009
The Public Garden. November 15, 2009




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