20.08.2020   15:12

Government of Irkutsk Region discusses cooperation on environmental protection within framework of BAM and Trans-Sib modernisation project

A meeting with the Government of the Irkutsk Region has considered projects to increase the capacity of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian Main Line railways.

The meeting was attended by the Acting Governor of the Angara Region Igor Kobzev and the head of East Siberian Railways Vasily Frolov.

The participants in the meeting discussed, in particular, a draft memorandum regarding cooperation between the Irkutsk Region and Russian Railways on nature management and environmental protection.

As the head of East Siberian Railways, Vasily Frolov said that beginning in 2013, an investment project had been implemented on the regional railway in connection with carrying out instructions issued by the Government of the Russian Federation to modernise the railway infrastructure of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian Mainlines and to develop their respective carrying capacity.

During the implementation of this programme’s first stage, said Frolov, all the necessary regulatory requirements had been fulfilled and passed by the state and environmental expert reports. Before the reports were accepted, public hearings had been held on all ongoing projects and the opinion and wishes of both the scientific and expert community and the wider public taken into account.

At present, East Siberian Railways, which is part of the central ecological zone, is carrying out construction and installation work at 18 infrastructure facilities. Vasily Frolov emphasised that the design standards for these construction projects require approximately 0.1 to 1.1 hectares of additional land allotment, and that these areas do not always contain forests and require
“clear” felling. The final area of ​​the allotted land will be clarified after all the technical solutions have been developed and a positive conclusion to the state ecological expert report obtained.

At the same time, each plot of additional land allotment in accordance with the draft law under consideration will be approved individually by the Government of the Russian Federation.

The meeting’s participants also held a substantive discussion on a plan of additional measures in the central ecological zone of Lake Baikal’s natural territory during the construction and reconstruction of railway infrastructure facilities. The document includes not only aspects regarding cooperation with executive authorities and public and scientific organisations, but also the creation of a system of environmental monitoring and control, as well as a number of measures to protect the atmosphere and the water resources for fauna and flora in the central ecological zone of Baikal’s natural territory.

The meeting decided to set up a working group, which, in addition to railway workers, will include representatives of the Irkutsk Region’s government, the scientific community, the public and environmentalists.

The corporate communications service at East Siberian Railways said that the group would undertake regular reviews of the progress in implementing the joint plans.