Azerbaijani president: Oil not an end in itself for us, it is mean for creating better life, better conditions
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 21
Oil is not an end in itself for us, it is a mean for creating a better life, better conditions, building a better country, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview to Azerbaijan Television, Ictimai Television, and Real Television following a groundbreaking ceremony of the offshore operations of the Absheron field at the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deep Water Jackets Plant, Trend reports.
Azerbaijani president recalled that Baku, the Absheron Peninsula, and Sumgayit were presented as zones of ecological disaster.
“Many things have been forgotten now but our most oil-polluted area was the Bibi-Heybat Bay. The Bibi-Heybat Bay has now turned into a zone of beautiful parks and recreation. The Bibi-Heybat settlement has actually been rebuilt. In other words, the Bibi-Heybat Bay was a zone of ecological disaster and many probably remember that picture. Another area of the ecological disaster was Balakhani and its oil fields. But look at Balakhani now! It has turned into a beautiful settlement, and work is already being completed there. I will go there myself and see how my instructions are being fulfilled. And this applied not only to Balakhani but to all the settlements. I said that all suburban settlements of Baku should be improved, better conditions should be created there for people, all the issues of concern to them should be resolved and the aesthetic appearance of these settlements should correspond to the modern level. All historical sites in the settlements need to be restored, and we will give them a new life. Let us recall the Balakhani dump. Poisonous smoke from there enveloped the whole city – it was poison. When I started working on this issue, some said that it was impossible to extinguish it because it burns from within, that gases are formed down below, this is a very dangerous place and we cannot approach it. Some even suggested building a sarcophagus over it. There were such ridiculous proposals too. But we found a way out and completely cleaned the place. Today a beautiful park has been built there, an incineration plant has begun to operate. Next to it is another zone of ecological disaster – Lake Boyukshor. Part of it has been cleared. This was also an ecological disaster zone because it was an open oil reservoir. At the same time, all sewage water was discharged there. Currently, a boulevard has been created there and birds sit on the lake,” the head of state said.
“Other projects. Let's recall the Black City. This concept no longer exists and the White City has been built in its place. When we were implementing the White City urban development project, at least two meters of the ground layer was removed. All these were oil deposits, tar, poison. The “AzerNeftYag” oil refinery is located nearby. Its activity is also coming to an end, as two years from now the reconstruction at the oil refinery named after Heydar Aliyev will be completed and Euro-5 gasoline will be produced. So vehicles that pollute the air the most will be provided with clean gasoline and the “AzerNeftYag” refinery will be dismantled. All tanks and installations will be dismantled and there will be a large park there. There was also the iodine-bromine plant. Some may not know this but it was also located on the airport road. It was also poisonous. We disposed of it and transported the sediment to a landfill. Or look at the environmental situation in Sumgayit. Earlier, when driving past Sumgayit, people rolled up their car windows so that the stench and poisons would not penetrate into the car. Today Sumgayit resembles a resort city. As the industrial potential of it strengthened, modern treatment plants were built there and industrial estates were created. Sumgayit was considered possibly the most polluted city in the Soviet Union, but today it is one of the cleanest cities. We did all this because it is the life of our people, the health of our children, and the coming generation. Did they pay any attention to this during the times of Tsarist Russia or during the Soviet period? No! They only cared about a plan, about production, exploitation – give us oil, give us gas. But what about people's lives, their way of life and health? Therefore, these issues are in the foreground for us,” the Azerbaijani president said.
“After being elected president, I said, and this was one of my first statements, that we must turn “black gold” into human capital and serve our people. In this area, we must, first of all, take into account the human factor because oil is not an end in itself for us, it is a means for creating a better life, better conditions, building a better country, and we are doing exactly that,” President Ilham Aliyev said.