Do Uzhgorod public utilities need a tragedy to do their job?

Last night, during a storm, in the courtyard of the house №55 on Svoboda Avenue,

near the 2nd entrance, a huge branch fell from a tree. Fortunately, it was at night, but it could have happened during the day when there are many kids at the playground nearby.

This situation has been going on for years. Residents have repeatedly appealed to the then Housing Area 4 asking to prune the trees, because there was a real threat of old trees or branches falling and injuring people. Here is one of the letters of the tenants which they sent in 2015 to the then Director of the Department of Urban Utilities O. Kostenchuk.                                                        

"Once again, we, the residents of the house number 55 on Svoboda Avenue, appeal to you asking to resolve the issue of cutting down the trees in the yard. These trees were planted in 1960s and have outlived their age. Many of them have long dried up and would have fallen long time age if they were not resting on other trees. Because the crowns of trees obscure the sunlight, it is always dark in the apartments, especially on the first floor, which, in turn, causes dampness. In addition, there is a danger that eventually the trees will fall on somebody.

For the first time, we appealed to the mayor with this request in 2014, after which Uzhgorod city council sent a letter to the Housing Area 4, which stated inter alia: "Given the order of the Mayor of 25.07.2012 number 217, please perform the above work (tree pruning), and inform the city council of it in writing by 10.06.2016".

The works were not performed. Then the city council gave the Housing Area 4 another deadline to do tree pruning – by 09.29.2014. Nothing has been done after that too. We would like to know how many appeals to the city utilities and deadlines does it take to do a rather simple work – cut old trees in the yard of the house number 55 on Svoboda Avenue?"

Now, a condominium has been established in this building. The head of it says that tree cutting is expensive, and the newly formed condominium currently has no money.

In the media, there are many outraged reports about unnecessary tree pruning in Uzhgorod. And here it is not just necessary, it is badly needed for reasons of basic safety.

Or are we going to wait until a tragedy happens?

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