Moving petrol filling stations outside Almaty not possible: Vladimir Bozhko 12 марта 2014, 13:00
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Kazakhstan Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Bozhko. ©Yaroslav Radlovsky
Kazakhstan Emergencies Minister offered no support to the idea of Mels Yeleussizov to move all the petrol filling stations out of Almaty, Tengrinews reports from Astana.
"It is impossible! There are 1.5 million cars in Almaty city. This means we will have 1.5 million discontent residents" if we move the filling stations to the suburbs, the Minister pointed out in reply to the proposal made by Kazakhstan's ecologist Mesl Yeleussizov.
The leader of Tabigat (Nature) Ecological Union Mels Yeleussizov offered to move all filling stations out of Almaty city last year.
According to Yeleussizov, this would help make the air and the city in general much cleaner, and improved the quality of tap water. The ecologist believes that petrol tanks at filling stations could be leaking because many of them are old and rusty, and polluting the ground waters.
"We must inspect all the petrol filling stations. Their storage tanks for petrol are supposed to have a double protective layer because the tanks might corrode in the course of time. In case one protection layer stars leaking, the other one should still hold. Unless we do this we will end us drinking petrol instead of water. Because if petrol is seeping through the tanks it going into the ground waters that are a source of drinking water. I remember when the stations were just being built, old rusty petrol tanks were brought and embedded into the ground," the ecologist said.
He pointed at the area's seismicity to support his idea of moving all the filling station away from the city. In case of a strong earthquake, "there are a lot of petrol filling stations in the city that will be burning and many people could die from carbon oxide poisoning, lack of oxygen" let alone the fire, Yeleussizov stressed.
This issue of petrol stations and tanks came high on the agenda after last year's petrol truck accident in Almaty. A petrol tanker truck caught fire and flared at one of the busy streets of Almaty. The driver died in the accident and the fire spread to the nearest block.
Many European and American cities have moved their petrol filling stations outside the city boundaries.