Miracle crafted under guidance of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev - Baikal-Amur Mainline (PHOTO)

Politics Materials 21 April 2024 12:21 (UTC +04:00)
Miracle crafted under guidance of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev - Baikal-Amur Mainline (PHOTO)
Asif Mehman
Asif Mehman
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 21. The building of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), linking Siberia and the Russian Far East, is closely tied to the legacy of the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev.

The realization of this monumental project, which facilitates the utilization of the natural resources of Siberia and the Russian Far East, their transportation to areas of demand, and, crucially, revitalizes life in the region, while also serving as the shortest route between the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and Europe spanning a total length of 4,324 kilometers, is a direct outcome of Heydar Aliyev's unprecedented and concerted efforts.

For its time, this project seemed impossible. The harsh, unfavorable climate of Siberia and the Russian Far East, along with the complex geological structure of the territories, posed significant challenges.

The plan included the creation of new cities and towns, railway stations, and other infrastructure along the mainline.

All Soviet republics were involved in the construction of the mainline. Each had specific tasks assigned in this massive endeavor. Azerbaijan was tasked with building a settlement at the 210th kilometer of the mainline, to be named Ulkan. The project for the settlement was designed by Azerbaijani architects. Thousands of young Azerbaijanis joined this unique initiative and set off for Siberia.

During his leadership of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev showed keen interest in the activities of Azerbaijanis involved in the mainline construction. He welcomed the first construction brigade to arrive in those territories in early 1975.

Following his appointment as the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Heydar Aliyev assumed the role of chairman of the State Commission for the Construction of the BAM.

Certainly, construction faced its share of challenges. Many sections of the route had to traverse swamps and dense forests. Groundwater seeping into the tunnels dug by the builders caused big issues.

To expedite the construction, Heydar Aliyev embarked on a tour of the region from June 3rd to 10th, 1984. During this visit, he met with workers and specialists, conducting inspections of various construction sites. On July 5th, at a meeting of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, his report on the BAM construction progress was delivered.

Effectively, this trip marked a pivotal moment in the BAM construction. It was the first visit by a top-tier representative and leader at the Politburo level. Representatives from the ministry and relevant committee accompanying Heydar Aliyev witnessed firsthand his keen focus on construction quality, engaging with workers, and addressing their concerns.

This visit motivated the builders, who were working in challenging conditions and facing myriad difficulties, leading to an acceleration of their work pace. The image of Heydar Aliyev, a member of the Politburo, navigating the hazardous conditions of a 7-kilometer tunnel, wading through knee-deep water was unexpected and met with enthusiasm.

"We provided updates to the Politburo several times on the progress of the BAM construction. Heydar Aliyev made multiple visits to the construction site. There were those who obstructed him, who opposed him. Some believed that a single-track road should suffice. Heydar Aliyev countered all opposition with reasoned arguments, steadfastly defending his viewpoint. He was a principled individual overall... In my opinion, he made a significant contribution not only to the development of Azerbaijan's economy but also to that of the entire USSR," later said Nikolai Baybakov, Chairman of the State Planning Committee of the USSR and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

During Heydar Aliyev's tenure leading Azerbaijan, at the 210th kilometer of the mainline, where construction was at its peak, Azerbaijanis erected the Ulkan station and the surrounding Ulkan settlement. This settlement's construction was closely monitored by the esteemed leader himself.

The first construction team from Azerbaijan arrived in these areas in early 1975. Back then, the settlement of Ulkan was just a name. But now, these places have changed beyond recognition. The construction, involving Azerbaijanis, of a 209-kilometer railway line was completed two months ahead of schedule.

In his memoirs, Tayar Guseynli, an engineer and the chief architect of the "Angoya" project, reflects:

"The construction of the BAM was in full swing. Our republic successfully built the Ulkan settlement along with its railway station on the BAM. Later on, our republic was tasked with building the second station - Angoya. The Ulkan project was entirely developed by our institute, while the Angoya project was developed and approved at the Novosibirsk-based design institute "Sibgiprottrans". Our republic was given the responsibility to construct the station based on this project. During those years, the esteemed leader Heydar Aliyev held the position of the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and he directly oversaw the BAM construction. It was revealed that, upon the instruction of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, the design of the Angoya station building and several public structures in the settlement would be in the style of Azerbaijani classical architecture. We all understood that this directive came directly from Heydar Aliyev, the brilliant son of Azerbaijan.

Despite the fact that the Baikal-Amur Mainline was put into operation in 1984, construction work persisted, with new route lines being laid. The inauguration of the Angoya station, constructed by Azerbaijani builders, 40 years ago, was a momentous occasion for both the construction workers and the local community.

On July 18, 2008, a grand ceremony was held to rename the railway station at Angoya of the East Siberian Railway after the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev. A commemorative plaque dedicated to the Great Leader was unveiled".