City comfort in a village
The President of Belarus recently visited Khimy, on the border of the Vitebsk and Mogilev regions. He noted that manufacturing facilities should be set up in villages to ensure employment but that villages should not be converted into towns.
Khimy has just 43 homesteads, including 35 dachas. The President has viewed the plan to revive Khimy, which is to grow into an agro-industrial complex, with agricultural production. There are plans to create manufacturing and social spheres by 2015, while developing local engineering infrastructure. A facility to bottle mineral and fresh water is to be built, in addition to a confectionery factory. Fresh drinking water accounts for just 3 percent of the Earth’s water resources, while the share of easily available fresh water stands at 2 percent. At present, over half of all water available from the surface has been used. However, Belarus has great prospects for stepping up its bottling of fresh drinking water; there are assured reserves of fresh and mineral water near Khimy.
A confectionery factory is also to appear in Khimy. As the Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, Alexander Kosinets, noted, this should be ready by early 2012. Mr. Lukashenko has approved the projects but stresses that this village must not be converted into a town. “Nothing should be done artificially,” he said. A poultry factory is also to be constructed not far from Khimy. Negotiations with foreign investors willing to take part in the project are underway. The pay-off period is estimated at five years.
“We should act like this everywhere. People have lived here for centuries. Let them continue to do so. It is necessary to establish an industrial basis. We’ll develop the rest when the time comes,” the President said.