Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) Alexander Bastrykin instructed the head of the Investigation Department (SU) of the TFR for the Volgograd Region Vasily Semenov to initiate a criminal case on the illegal stop of the construction of the third stage of the underground tram in the regional center. This week, Volgograd residents sent a collective statement addressed to Mr. Bastrykin, in which they said that the decision adopted in 2020 to suspend this construction was causing damage to the city budget in the amount of about 400 million rubles. The Volgograd Investigation Department opened a case under the article “Negligence”.
The fact that Alexander Bastrykin instructed the head of the Investigative Committee of the ICR for the Volgograd Region, Vasily Semenov, to initiate a criminal case on the fact of stopping the construction of the third stage of the underground tram in Volgograd, the press service of the department reported. The ICR noted that the course of the investigation of the criminal case will be put under control in its central office.
The reason was the collective complaint of Volgograd residents about the delay in the investigation of malfeasance, as a result of which the construction was illegally stopped. Earlier, the ICR department for the Volgograd region conducted an audit on this fact, but no criminal case was initiated.
The authors of the collective complaint, published this week by the Volgograd media, report that “for more than four months there has been red tape” with a procedural check on the fact of the allegedly illegal suspension of the construction of an infrastructure facility. The authors of the complaint estimate the damage at 400 million rubles.
The third stage of the Volgograd metrotram was supposed to connect the Volgograd State University area with the Elshanka station (opened on December 1, 2011 as part of the second stage of construction, which has been underway since 1985).
The idea that the third stage of the underground tram will be built in the city was discussed back in 2013. The work was to be completed in three stages: the first was to connect the Elshanka, Rayonnaya and SHI stations, the second – Tormosinovskaya and Panfilovskaya, the third – Microdistrict 231 and State University.
In March 2013, the Ministry of Transport and Roads of the Volgograd Region and OAO Metrogiprotrans signed a state contract for the development of design documentation for the construction of a high-speed tram line from the Elshanka station to the State University station worth 400 million rubles.
The work was partially completed and suspended due to “changes in standardization documents”. All construction was estimated at 15 billion rubles. and was supposed to be completed in 2018, but this did not happen – construction did not begin.
At the beginning of December 2020, the administration of Volgograd issued a resolution to cancel the planning and land surveying project for the construction of the third stage of a high-speed underground tram from Lev Tolstoy Street to Universitetsky Prospekt in the Sovetsky district of the city. The document was signed by the deputy head of the administration of the regional center Vladimir Sidorenko.
In October last year, Volgograd activists already turned to Alexander Bastrykin with a request to open a criminal case on the fact of canceling the construction of an underground tram, the regional investigation department of the TFR began its own check, but its results were not reported.
In relation to Vladimir Sidorenko, who signed the decree, in May last year a criminal case was initiated on another fact – under Part 1 of Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Exceeding official powers”), which during the preliminary investigation was reclassified to Art. 292 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Official forgery”). According to the case materials, in January 2019, the deputy head of Volgograd issued a permit to the construction of a three-story multifunctional complex on a land plot at 144 Lenina Avenue to Orion Shopping Center LLC.
According to the investigation, in fact, the construction of this facility was not carried out.
At the same time, a representative of a commercial organization and other tenants of the land plot allegedly understood that it would be impossible to complete the construction of the MFC (Medveditsa shopping center), but, despite this, in March 2020 they filed an application with the city hall for a permit to put the complex into operation.
Permission to use the actually non-existent facility was issued on March 19, 2020. This allowed Orion Shopping Center LLC to receive a land plot of 1.5 hectares on a non-competitive basis for a 49-year lease.
The case against Vladimir Sidorenko was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
In the Investigative Committee of the ICR for the Volgograd Region, Kommersant was told that in connection with the order of Alexander Bastrykin, a criminal case was initiated under Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Negligence”), however, they refused to report the plot of the alleged crime.