Samara to Boost Road Funding After UK Media Expose

SAMARA, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – Samara Region Governor Nikolai Merkushkin ordered more funding for road maintenance on Wednesday after UK media published lurid reports about giant potholes in the city’s streets.

On Tuesday, The Times, The Daily Mail and The Sun published images showing cars and trucks which had fallen into huge sinkholes. The papers claim all of them were in the same city – Samara in the Volga area, Russia’s sixth largest city.

“The region and the city should find additional funds and direct them for repairs at the worst spots,” the governor said.

According to the region’s traffic police, about 70 percent of roads in the region are in bad condition. The traffic police department has repeatedly demanded the closure of several roads because of potholes.

Merkushkin has ordered about 500 million rubles ($16 million) to be added to the 1 billion rubles ($32 billion) already allocated in the budget this year for road maintenance.

According to an old popular Russian saying, “Russia has two woes – fools and roads.” In a survey released in late January by the Federal Statistics Service (FSS), over 60 percent of Russians cited bad roads among their main concerns.


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