Meeting with Acting Head of the Republic of Kalmykia Batu Khasikov 2019-07-31 14:10:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Acting Head of the Republic of Kalmykia Batu Khasikov, who updated the President on the greatest problems and the drafting of a comprehensive socioeconomic development plan in the republic. Batu Khasikov, who was appointed Acting Head of the Republic of Kalmykia in March 2019, outlined the region’s greatist problem, which is also the key factor in the socioeconomic development of the republic – two aspects of water supply. The first aspect is supplying people with fresh water According to the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), only 7,4 percent of people in Kalmykia have access to fresh water. Under the Clean Water federal targeted programme implemented within the Ecology national project, 624 million rubles will be allocated for solving this problem in the region before 2024. The Acting Governor said this is only enough to provide fresh water to 25 percent of the republic’s population. The water intake and supply systems have not been repaired since the 1970s, and there is no water treatment and purification facilities in the region’s capital or other cities. The second aspect has to do with irrigation and water distribution in cattle breeding and agriculture. These systems have not been repaired for decades. They have been silted up and overgrown with bulrushes, hindering the water supply to farmlands and hence a stable provision of fodder. Batu Khasikov asked the President to help in solving these problems. Another issue on the agenda was the development of cattle breeding. Batu Khasikov said the region’s potential in that sphere was underrated. The republic needs to centralise the system, build processing enterprises, irrigate the steppes and update the cattle inventory. He said he discussed these issues at the Agriculture Ministry, which offered its support. Batu Khasikov recalled that Kalmykia is one of the 10 regions in Russia with the lowest level of socioeconomic development and that the republic was working out a socioeconomic development plan under the guidance of Natural Resources Minister Dmitry Kobylkin. He said the plan would be submitted to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on September 1.