By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenian officials decided to refresh the entire Elevator Fund of Yerevan at the expense of citizens.
The fee for the elevator services in Yerevan will increase by 20 percent to reimburse the modernization costs of the Elevator economy of the Armenian capital, Yerevan Deputy Mayor Hayk Sargsyan said at a press conference.
He said that the repair, re-equipment and replacement of 3,600 elevators requires a huge amount of 30 billion drams ($62.2 million), adding that Yerevan cannot allocate these funds.
Sargsyan pointed out that the financial model for replacing elevators designed for 20-25 years, during which part of the amount will be compensated by increasing the operating fee.
This decision has already caused a public outcry as it was made on the background of irreversible intention to raise official wages to the city administration contingent.
According to the business plan, as many as 140 elevators will be modernized annually in Yerevan and each of these elevators will cost an average of 8.5 million drams ($17,620). About 1.2 billion drams will be spent annually on elevators – i.e. $2.5 million. The amount is not large, and is all pathetic when considering the program scale.
If to take into account the fact that the new city administration announces a contest of ideas with $1 million prize Fund and intends to increase salaries by 30 percent to 1,700 employees of the city hall, then 2.5 million a year for officials is considered a trifle. Thus, the mayor's office complains that the amount of money is so large that neither the municipality nor the government can take on this financial burden and pay for the upgrade of passenger elevators, while a period of 25 years can be considered as humiliating for citizens.
As a result of the accidents in 2012-2018, as many as six people died in Yerevan and five citizens were injured. The average service life of elevators in Yerevan is 25 years.
Well, ordinary people can only hope that they will be able to live up to the day when a large-scale, expensive program, the implementation of which takes decades, will be implemented. Wait-and-see attitude -- nothing more.