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Ghromi-Mejvriskhevi Relation Is Complicated by Police and Energo-Pro Georgia

07.09.2009
Government Does Not Care about Problems of Ossetian People

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

Residents of Mejvriskhevi village in Gori district say the government of Georgia artificially complicates their relation with Ossetian village of Ghromi. Georgian policemen deployed between the two villages do not allow Ossetian people into Mejvriskhevi; they bring cheese and matsoni to the village to sell.

“Our policemen stepped on the cheese an Ossetian woman had brought from Ghromi village and did not allow her into Mejvriskhevi,” said one of the villagers. Short time later, on September 2, Ossetians stole three cows from the houses of Mejvriskhevi residents; the cows were pastured in the territory that is currently controlled by Ossetians.

The relation between Ghromi and Mejvriskhevi villages is getting tense gradually.

Soon, electricity distribution company Energo-Pro Georgia cut off electricity supply of the village of Ghromi. In reply to that Ghromi residents cut water-supply to the village of Mejvriskhevi. Residents of Georgian village request to restore electricity supply for the neighboring village in order to get drinking water.

Group of 100 villagers arrived in Gori to meet regional governor and discuss the problem with him. Governor Vardzelashvili and his deputies were not in the office. Head of the administration Zurab Lomidze arrived late who listened to their problems outside the office.

“I will call the regional governor and tell if he will be able to meet you,” said Zurab Lomidze; he supposedly called vice-governor and then reported to the villagers.

“I have just spoken with the deputy governor and he said they are going to Mejvriskhevi,” said Zurab Lomidze but villagers got astonished.

“Why are they going to Mejvriskhevi when people and village councilor are here,” the villagers were surprised.

“Our neighbor was collecting electricity bills in Ghromi. We know that they used electricity for 400 GEL but representatives of the Energo-Pro Georgia compelled them to pay 2 000 GEL. Why do you make them pay extra money,” asked the villagers to district governor Davit Khmiadashvili, who arrived in the office later and met them in the meeting room. The governor replied.

“Two weeks ago when the electricity supply was cut for Ghromi village, I went there and restored the supply. However, the villagers did not pay the bills and we had to cut off the supply again. I spoke with the representatives of the Energo-Pro Georgia and maybe I will convince them to restore the electricity supply. Problem might be resolved within two weeks; meanwhile we will finish the construction of well in Mejvriskhevi,” said Davit Khmiadashvili.

The Human Rights Center was recording the meeting by video-camera. A woman from Mejvriskhevi tried to avoid the video-camera. The district governor was astonished and shouted at us not to record the woman. Later we found out that she was teacher of Mejvriskhevi public school and she did not want to be recorded because it might result in her dismissal. “She is getting irritated and why are you recording her,” said Khmiadashvili who forgot together with the woman that the meeting was public and the journalist was implementing his professional activities. However, it was not first fact when the journalist of the Human Rights Center was prevented from his professional activities. The officer from the Constitutional Security Department attended the meeting too and he did not allow us to record him.

As for wells, Natia Omiadze, spokesperson of the regional administration, was spreading pres-releases reporting that the administration was digging 33 wells in the district... 3 of those wells were to be installed in Mejvriskhevi village. Head of infrastructure department of the district administration said municipal development fund was digging the wells and not the regional governor’s administration. The fund had hired “New Energy Company” to implement the activities.

Gia Khuroshvili thinks the New Energy committed crime when wasting the allocated sums and not doing the job.

“The author of the project is guilty for the shortcoming,” said Givi Khuroshvili because he thinks in fact the project was not prepared. Khuroshvili wants to see the project of the wells in Mejvriskhevi once more.

“The construction company started the activities without considering the number of village population. The wells cannot provide 2 000 families with water,” said the representative of the village to municipality board Misha Tsertsvadze.

Davit Khmiadashvili claims the representatives of the municipal development fund will arrive in the village in two days and the work will be finished within two weeks. The people requested the formation about the development fund from Khuroshvili.

 “The Municipal Development Fund is a department of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure. Lasha Gotsiridze is the head of the department. If the wells are not dug in two weeks, you can kill that man. By the way, he really deserves it,” said Givi Khuroshvili to the villagers.

Thus, Mejvriskhevi village is still water-supplied from Ghromi village before wells are installed there. The villagers are waiting for the Energo-Pro Georgia to provide the Ghromi village with electricity in order to get water from the neighboring village. After the wells are ready, electricity supply will be cut off from Ghromi village; so it will make no difference for governmental officials if Ossetian neighbors will cease water supply or not.

Residents of Mejvriskhevi do not like similar solution of the problem because they do not want to tense their relationship with the residents of Ghromi. However, the government does not care about this issue and is bothered to resolve the problem of “their” population.
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