“The first stage of the construction of the city of Arkadar costs 3.3 billion. dollars”, reported Deriageldis Orazov, the representative of the state committee responsible for the construction. – In our estimation, the second stage will cost about 1.5 billion. dollars.”
Mr. Berdimuhamedov held the post of President of Turkmenistan for 15 years, and was later succeeded by his son Serdar, who won early elections.
in 2019 G. Berdimuhamedov participated in the solemn ceremony of the start of construction, half a year later the works started. The new city is planned to be built on the territory of 950 ha; 135 ha of apple orchards and 170 ha of vineyards were cut down to make way for the new city.
In the first stage of construction, it is planned to build 384 objects on an area of about 700 hectares, including 258 residential houses. Local media call Arkadar a “smart” city, where, for example, traffic lights will be regulated by digital technology, and trash cans will notify the relevant services that they are full, and they will also be regulated by digital technology. The elder Berdimuhamedov ordered the new city to be built ecologically clean – to use solar panels, only electric buses and taxis.
There will also be monuments in the city – the beloved horse of the former president – “the sculpture of the famous trotter of Akhan”. The height of the monument will be 31 m. Stands and a mosque with a capacity of 5,500 people, a children’s center. In the second phase of construction, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, a fire station, a railway and bus station will be built. An industrial zone with textile companies, light and food industries will also appear.
In March, the former president of the country announced that the first stage of Arkadar’s construction is coming to an end and the opening ceremony is being prepared. Serdar Berdimuhamedov commissioned the establishment of an organizing committee and gave an unusual instruction to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country to analyze the issue of including the city in the Guinness Book of Records, “Turkmenistan Chronicles” reported.
A Turkmen “Village Version of Potyomkin”?
It is clear to everyone in Turkmenistan that the construction of the city of Arkadar is an ideological project of Arkadar himself and his immediate environment, which makes him a sacred personality, a historical figure who is still alive for all Turkmens and who demonstrated extraordinary abilities to rule the country (in fact, this is not the case).
A simple hypertrophied cult is no longer enough for the elder Berdimuhamedov, while he is alive, he is already thinking about eternity, about his place in history, besides, he wants sacredness, which people do not doubt and which is immutable in time.
The city of Arkadar is one of the expensive projects of questionable necessity both in terms of time and place. Another project worth mentioning is Avaza, a resort on the coast of the Caspian Sea.
True, the love for the resort is declining along with the level of the Caspian Sea – in some places the sea has receded 100-150 m from the built infrastructure, which undermines the value of the seaside resort.
70 thousand the city planned by the population does not have close to the required amount of production and jobs, so it will be an ordinary project for the “new elite” – representatives of the nomenclature, the highest and middle-ranking bureaucracy; by the way, there are already several such supposedly elite districts in Ashgabat itself.
The concept of a smart city, on the basis of which they want to enter the Guinness Book of Records with the city of Arkadar, is difficult to understand: the city is too small to organize a truly intelligent transport movement system, perhaps elementary security is meant – to ensure it, the city has the capacity of surveillance video cameras, etc. . sensors.
However, the concept of “smart city” is not related to the technological solutions of “smart home” – the air conditioning system, heating, lighting, even pumps and other smart devices become smart when they are connected to the Internet, which is already a political issue, because the Internet in Turkmenistan is completely weak , so even the most modern devices become electrical devices of previous generations with little functionality.
in 2017 The huge sports complex built for the Asian Games is locked and only spends funds from the budget for maintenance – Turkmenistan itself does not organize the Games, the organizing committees of other countries do not organize the Games in Ashgabat due to logistical problems, unfavorable weather, political and financial environment for the Games.
This also applies to the city of Arkadar – even during the design period, its necessity raised doubts, and even more so – the scale of construction.