Moscow wasn’t built overnight, so what’s up with Tashkent?
Editor’s Note: One of the most discussed topics in Tashkent at the moment is the local authorities’ decision to “dismantle” the city. Tashkent is now starting to look rather like a war-affected city. Residents have no clue what the reasons are, and the state isn’t providing any explanations. neweurasia’s Samira reports with exclusive on-the-ground photographs.
Translator’s Note: This post was translated from Samira’s original (RUS).
The dismantlement of Tashkent started this spring. Older tram routes have been replaced with crooked new ones, while people are being evicted and their houses demolished to make space. Local policlinics, a customs point and a market at Tash-Selmash have all been destroyed, their ruins carelessly raked and feeble fir-trees planted on large empty area where they used to stand. There is mud and dust everywhere. If nothing suddenly changes again, there might be a park or an official green area here, as there no tracks laid in between the trees. Some citizens joke that this is how the government finally decided to cut down the trees at the main square.
The situation with the markets is unclear, but the scope of their demolition is quite impressive:
- The flower markets on the Buyuk Ipak Yuli metro station have now been removed..
- Parkent market is halfway destroyed; its construction materials have been moved to Kuiluk.
- The clothes market and the groceries are still functional, but there is no guarantee that they not become subject to these destructive changes.
- The territory of the Yunusabad bazaar has also undergone changes: instead of the lines of flower points and small shops there is now a quirky and bumpy open space.
- The shops in front of Ahmad Donish bazar are now being destroyed too.
- On the both right and left sides of the Alai market, a whole range of shops have been dislodged. The same story is with Farkhad and Kadishev bazaars.
- Officials have also decided to remove the Beruni metro stop. This used to be a spot for the Internet cafe, shops, café, photo-studios, and a bus station itself; today everything is withdrawn. Local students are not happy with the changes, saying that the university and campus are not going to be the same, if not worse: “It already does not at all look like a student area,” regrets one third-year student.
- Indeed, the National University of Uzbekistan has not been left out of the changes, either. The university canteen, which used to be a separate building near the Law faculty building, has already been dismantled.
This is by far not a complete list of all the destruction campaigns currently going on in Tashkent. Most residents are anxious; there is a mood of uncertainty and fear all around the city. There are all kinds of guesses about the authorities’ further plans, and what (if anything) is going to be constructed among the ruins?
Photos by the author: