The implementation of plans of the occupation authorities of CADO on the so-called "nationalization" of part of the facilities of the Voda Donbassa public utility can leave the entire region without water supply. First deputy head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration Yevheniy Vylynskyi told journalists about this threat.
He noted that the Voda Donbassa public utility belongs to the Ukrainian party and operates as holistic and united.
"All the production processes are interrelated, but, unfortunately, water supply system of the Donetsk oblast is organized in such a way that the water supply is made over the controlled territory at first, then - to the uncontrolled territory, and then, from the uncontrolled territory, the water supply system goes to Mariupol. We cannot stop the water supply somewhere and have to work both in the controlled and uncontrolled territory. Any company shutdown at any part of the entire length of the water conduits will lead to a shortage of water throughout the entire Donetsk oblast", - the deputy head of Donetsk Regional State Administration said.
Yevheniy Vylynskyi stressed that people who work at the facilities in the occupied territory are employees of the Voda Donbassa public utility, general director of which is appointed head of the Donetsk Regional Civil-Military Administration.
"At the same time, it is worth noting that the company's departments that provide water in specific localities are independent departments that conduct their business. That is, they spend as much money on their water supply needs as they collect. Of course, there are large infrastructure projects funded by the entire company… This system was formed not during the war, but decades ago", - he specified, adding that salaries are being allocated at the level of departments as well.
"In the territory under control, employees receive a salary, and it is being calculated in Ukrainian hryvnia, in the occupied territory, unfortunately, they are forced to operate with Russian rubles. Because payments from the population are collected in rubles… It is clear that we cannot transport this money to put a part in the accounts in the pension fund and pay a single social contribution. Therefore, we took such a step, the company management decided that in order for people not to lose their years of pensionable service, they pay part of the contributions in hryvnia for each of them on the territory under control. The only thing that all the money that accumulates on the Ukrainian side is not enough, so there is a certain debt of the company for the payment of a single social contribution and contribution to the PFU", - Yevheniy Vylynskyi told.
In total, about 7 thousand people work in in Voda Donbassa in the occupied part of Donetsk oblast.
"Wage arrears do exist, but they are artificial, and further events suggest that they are being deliberately provoked. Because there are large debts of consumers located in the occupied territory. These are corporate consumers that are managed by the occupation administration. In fact, today the occupation administration is doing everything to ensure that payments are not received by the employees of Voda Donbassa as needed", - the deputy chairman of the Donetsk Regional State Administration stated.
He also reported that population of CADO pay for the water consumed, another thing is that tariffs in the uncontrolled territory have not been changed since 2014. Local water utilities collect this money.
At the same time, for example, Donetsk Horvodokanal does not belong to Voda Donbassa, it is under the control of collaborators and "in fact, it does not pay properly for the water supplied by Voda Donbassa. "Accordingly, the company does not have the resource to pay wages to its employees in Donetsk", - Yevheniy Vylynskyi explained.
Recently, occupation authorities of CADO announced the preparation of a "road map" for the transfer of part of the Voda Donbassa public utility company under the control of the so-called "DNR".
It is referred to violation of the company's integrity. There is a desire to isolate individual production units of the company in favor of the so-called "DNR". "This carries quite big risks. From my point of view, this means that if we talk about fundraising, these units which will be under the occupation administration will collect funds from the population and will not pay for water to the Voda Donbassa company at all. This will mean that the entire financial burden on water transportation throughout the Donetsk oblast will fall only on our side, and this is absolutely unacceptable, there is simply no such resource", - the official said.
According to his information, "road map" of the occupation authorities on the "nationalization of the company" is about city water services companies which collect money from the population, and this will only affect the deepening of the crisis. On the collected funds, the company carries out numerous repairs on the water supply facilities, purchase pipes and necessary equipment. "If there are no funds, the whole company will stop… They now bite the hand that feeds them. This is very strange for us", - Yevheniy Vylynskyi noted.
The concern of Ukrainian authorities on the statements about the possible transfer of part of the Voda Donbassa public utility under the control of occupation authorities of the so-called "DNR" is shared by head of the delegation of the International Red Cross in Ukraine Alan Eshlimann. The Red Cross is ready to conduct an audit of the Voda Donbassa company in order to assess the needs for upgrading the oblast's water supply system, but this requires the company's integrity.