At a meeting with Alchevsk residents, which took placein an unheated school, Victor Yushchenko pledged to restore the hot-water system within a few days and said the exact date would be known after a special meeting, the President's press office reported.

“At this meeting we will set a deadline for all works. It will take a few days,” he said.

The President assured the people that state and regional funds would be used to completely solve the problem. He reiterated that the government had decided to send UAH 2.5 mln to help the city cope with the disaster.

The Head of State then criticized the local authorities for their negligence and incompetence.
Commenting on ways to prevent such problems, Yushchenko said it was vitalto reform the municipal economy, which consumes energy inefficiently.

“30% of electricity we use to heat water is consumed for nothing,” he said.

The Head of State believes that Ukrainian cities should replace centralized heating supply systems with smaller local units. He said in the near future specialists would install nine heating facilities in Alchevsk. At the moment, the city has two water stations with dangerously outdated equipment.

In Alchevsk, about ten thousand children cannot go to school because of the accident. The President said the problem should not impede their studies and claimed that these pupils should continue studying at such children’s centers as Artek.

Victor Yushchenko inspected the school and met with its teachers and workers that are trying to restore heating supplies to the building. He also visited the accident site and sawthe mostdamagedhouse.

“The local authorities have failed to solve problems of the city. These people do not deserve any respect. They must be dismissed,” he remarked.


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