Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mongolia Brief August 29, 2014 Part IV

Taxpayers thrown under the bus for Metro Map Project trial
August 31 (UB Post) Residents in the capital are very unhappy with the ten-day Metro Map Project, public transportation system experiment for reforming and improving services, organized from August 22 to 31.
An estimated 1.3 million MNT from the city budget and 1.8 million MNT from the private sector was issued for the trial program. The public transportation sector strived to provide passengers with quick, short route services but unfortunately, it seems to have failed as the public wasn’t so fond of the new, complicated system. The complication was caused by a lack of information.
People who used to board a single bus to go to work had to deal with two to three times bus transfers, on top of coping with overcrowded buses. Nobody wants to travel on buses where there’s no space to move and endure dozens of people stepping on their feet. People had no other choice but to use the new public transportation system and route. If they walked, they would be late for work and suffer salary deductions. Many passengers complained that they waited for 20 minutes to get to a certain destination.
Off to a bad start?
It’s pleasing to know that passengers can have limitless bus transfers with one-day bus tickets that cost 500 MNT. Staff in the public transportation sector aimed to improve this service and transform it into a comfortable, fast service system compatible with international standards. Constantly changing buses is a hassle for everyone and it’s in a Mongolian’s nature to prefer ready-made and convenient things.
Sources state that the public transportation sector shifted all of their workload onto private entities. Was it a bad start or someone’s bad taste to hinder the process and cause complications? Anyway, everyone’s dissatisfaction is clear. The authorities should take notice that all of this confusion, what passengers are facing now, is due to the insufficient provision of information.
As for the private sector, bus conductors and drivers reported that the companies worked their best to provide the most convenient service they could offer. We remind those in charge that the time when one could comfort one’s self by saying that everyone makes mistakes and afford leniency is long gone.
Flustered passengers
On the first day of the trial, many people got to wander and see the city’s development thanks to getting lost and confused on their journey. This affordable trip divided passengers into two groups. The first group was fed up with transferring buses and the other prioritized free transportation. A limited quantity of cheap bus tickets were sold at bus stops. Ticket vendors reported that not many people were purchasing these tickets, as some people assumed that it was fine to go “hitchhiking” on buses (without tickets) since the people who checked the tickets weren’t on board on buses.
It was also unclear which buses to which destinations came to different bus stops. Even ticket sellers didn’t have sufficient information about this. This shows the inadequate promotion of the project. People crowded bus stops, and whenever a bus arrived, everyone would rush to the bus. Instead of providing short-route services with lighter passenger loads, buses were running cramped with passengers everywhere.
According to passengers, pickpockets took advantage of this opportunity to steal valuables. Before, the despised, mean bus conductors used to at least protect passengers from thieves.
Ten days of travel for 3.1 billion MNT
The trial to develop public transportation services faced many challenges from the beginning. The most important aspect was to upgrade destination routes, but officials in the sector developed a very nice system to test people’s brain capacity and mental skills.
After letting people journey for 3.1 billion MNT for ten days, 1.3 million MNT from the city budget and 1.8 million MNT from the private sector, the organizers say that they wanted to open opportunities for working without losses.
The city authority couldn’t have known that so many people would overcrowd a bus when they started the new public transportation reform.
For those ten days, buses were transformed to the buses in the 90s that were extremely overcrowded. This shows that the new system was some sort of failure. Associated organizations should focus on finding and correcting those problems and then begin sustainable work.
The people aren’t guinea pigs for testing and providing results for some director’s workinitiative. Prior to organizing this sort of operation, the initiators should have collected practical research results. or at least survey residents before putting a plan to work. When authorities proceed with hasty decisions, residents are forced to hold back their discontent and suffer.

J.Narantungalag defeats reigning champion at ONE FC World Champion
By M. Zoljargal
August 31 (UB Post) Top Mongolian fighter J.Narantungalag was declared a new champion in the ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) on Friday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He fought against Japanese reigning champion Koji Oishi and defeated him with unanimous decision of the judges in the featherweight class (66 kg) to earn the title. He dominated through all three rounds with combinations and strikes.
ONE FC, Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) event, took place at Dubai Trade Centre this year, where fighter Shinya Aoki of Japan defended his ONE FC lightweight world championship title, while American fighter Ben Askren emerged as new world champion in the welterweight class.

Minister of Defense visits Turkey
August 31 (UB Post) Minister of Defense, MP, and Mongolian Chairman of the Mongolian-Turkish Intergovernmental Joint Commission D.Bat-Erdene and Mongolian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Turkey B.Batkhishig attended the inauguration of newly elected Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Following the ceremony, Minister D.Bat-Erdene met President Erdogan to congratulate him.
On Thursday, D.Bat-Erdene met Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Turkish Chairman of the Mongolian-Turkish Intergovernmental Joint Commission Bulent Arinc and talked about the expansion of bilateral trade and economic relations, reviewed protocol implementation of programs established at the seventh commission conference held in Ankara, and exchanged views on future projects.
Minister D.Bat-Erdene mentioned the use of a 300 million USD loan issued by the Turkish Government, Turkish investment and the introduction of technology for animal skin and hide processing, cooperation in renewable energy and tourism, requesting support for the implementation of those issues.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister B.Arinc thanked Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene and the Mongolian Government for sending delegates to the inauguration. He stressed that the sides need to intensify projects on bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Deputy Prime Minister underlined that the sides should promote cooperation between Mongolian and Turkish entrepreneurs, addressed their mutual obligations and accountability, and suggested the organization of a meeting between the nations’ Ministries of Economic Development. This meeting took place in the presence of Mongolian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Turkey B.Batkhishig and Mongolian General Consul to Istanbul E.Munkh-Ochir.
Over 90 heads of government and parliament, foreign ministers and state ministers attended the inauguration. During the ceremony, Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene greeted and briefly conversed with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Russian Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin, Kyrgyzstan’s Speaker of Parliament Asilbek Jeenbekov, Turkish Speaker of the State Parliament Cemil Cicek, Belarusian PM Mikhail Myasnikovich, Tajikistan’s PM Kokhir Rasulzoda, newly elected Turkish PM A.Davutoglu, Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-Se, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs B.Benjamin, Executive Director of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia Gong Jianwei.
Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene also met his Turkish counterpart, İsmet Yılmaz, and discussed his upcoming September visit to Mongolia.

Concrete mix factories recycling their grey water for use
August 31 (UB Post) Four out of about 90 concrete mix factories in Ulaanbaatar are recycling their greywater for further use to reduce their consumption of drinking water.
Ulaanbaatar will reportedly face a drinking water shortage by 2020, according to water authority experts, as there is no alternative water source than groundwater. To prevent the problem and limit the use of drinking water, several concrete mix factories have established greywater recycling plants and started using the recycled wastewater for washing their mixer trucks, which consumed tons of fresh drinking water before.
Greywater to make up 60 to 70 percent of daily water use
One of the four factories is Premium Concrete LLC, which operates in the 20th khoroo of Bayangol District. The company previously used four tons of drinking water for its operation. Specifically, 600 to 800 liters of water is used for washing one mixer truck. Some mixer trucks are required to be washed five times a day, depending on the company’s load.
Company officials report that they are saving 70 to 80 percent of drinking water previously used by using recycled greywater for multiple purposes.
The recycled water is used for not only washing, but also for watering the factory facilities to reduce dust.
“We established an international standard water recycling pool recently and started using the recycled greywater for our own operation,” said Premium Concrete LLC’s executive manager B.Tuvshinbat.
The greywater recycling technology cost the company 60 to 70 million MNT.
Tuul River Basin Administration urges concrete factories to recycle their greywater
The following is a brief interview with the Tuul River Basin Administration’s (TRBA) senior expert on water use management about how concrete factories use water.
Can you talk about how concrete mix factories manage their water supply?
They draw water from artesian wells, so we have sent them statements to limit their use of drinking water and start recycling their greywater. TRBA allowed them to use 50 to 100 cubic meters of groundwater per day, according to the Water Law of Mongolia.
Each factory will have to establish two to three water pools for recycling the greywater they have produced. It will benefit any company’s finances and contribute to saving drinking water.
When do you expect all factories to be using recycled grey water without dumping any water?
I can’t give an exact date yet, but we will definitely follow the saving plan in the water sector to prevent a shortage.
Link to article

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