City of Mirror Cleanness
Deep night or already early morning, but the city still sleeps. Lonely lanterns illuminate the silent streets, and rare cars break the silence, driving along the wide avenues. And only drivers of washing machines work during these hours. Cleanliness on the capital’s streets and highways is provided by special transport of the municipal utilities of the city.
Driving past after a night shift, I became interested in the essence of their work. It is clear that the main thing for them is the cleanliness of city highways: there was not a speck on the wet and wide lane creeping behind the car – the machinery fulfilled its purpose so conscientiously. There was a smell of freshness and the cleanliness of the track, and the capital, flooded with electric light, in the predawn haze seemed like a mirage hovering above the earth.
But how long does this cleaning take, what functions are special vehicles equipped with, how, in addition to “water procedures”, small garbage is collected ... Drivers of special machinery answered all these and other questions. This is a team from the Public Utilities Department of the hyakimlik of the Berkararlyk etrap of the capital. The most experienced of the drivers, who devoted more than fifteen years to his favourite business, is Bayramgeldy Bayramov. For him, the cleanliness of city streets is as natural as a neatly dressed person, that is why he treats his profession with love.
By the way, his orange working uniform with LED elements is without a single speck of dirt and immaculately ironed. And before going to work, the drivers undergo a medical examination, which is carried out in medical centres at garages of special vehicles.
At seven o’clock in the morning, their work should be completed, but now the brigade continues to work in one of the central highways of the capital – Bitarap Turkmenistan. Before starting a total cleaning of the territory, drivers undergo a safety briefing, although they know how to act in a particular non-standard situation. For example, in conditions of poor visibility due to fog or heavy rain, it is recommended to reduce the speed. And it, as a rule, is 17-19 kilometres an hour.
The driver’s cab is a compact and double, of comfortable type. Between the chairs, there is a remote control with a small monitor – this is the control of the cleaning process. Instruments showing the status of cleaning systems and garbage collection power plant are easy to read. The control of all equipment is automated and easy to operate – during operation, it is enough to press a few buttons, which are additionally equipped with control lamps informing of the state of affairs during the street cleaning process. There are also certain signals – when the garbage collector is already full or the four-tonne tank has run out of water for washing the streets.
By the way, they wash our roads with soapy water. Garbage is collected from a special cleaning tray, the design of which provides for air blowing from the circulation system. This makes it possible to operate the vehicle with the maximal level of environmental safety, without emitting air with dust after use. The “vacuum cleaner” has a hermetic design, and a reclining hatch is used for unloading, the fixation and opening of which are assigned to hydraulic locks and cylinders. The vehicle is equipped with three brushes: two on the sides and one on the back. After 3-4 months of operation, they are replaced with new ones.
But not only they worked that night. Sidewalks, curbs and roadsides nearby were swept by their colleagues – street cleaners, who at that hour were cleaning the capital of dust and other debris. It is a very responsible and honourable occupation to keep the city clean. And all the workers do their job well, ensuring the cleanliness of Ashgabat streets.
“The route for cleaning dusty roads is not an arbitrary choice of drivers, but the monitoring of the territory by specialists,” Begench Yazhanov, specialist of the Public Utilities Department of the hyakimlik of the Berkararlyk etrap says. “For example, a foreman Hirjan Veyisova, driving around a given area, determines which street needs to be refreshed, and therefore a work order is given for work in one or another section of the etrap. The white-marble city at any time of the day is the wide avenues sparkling with cleanliness, streets, parks and public gardens – the hallmark of modern Turkmenistan. For us, Ashgabat should always be friendly, bright and tidy, that is why the work done conscientiously is so important.”
The city of Ashgabat today is a modern metropolis with comfortable elite residential complexes, modern administrative buildings and palaces of public organisations. This is a city with more than a thousand streets, roads, avenues and highways. This is an ecologically clean capital of parks and public gardens, where trees rustle, rejoicing at the touch of a fresh breeze, flowers are fragrant, lawns turn green, and fountains beckon children and adults with their coolness. Ashgabat is the capital of a sovereign state, so the look of the city is of no small importance. Dozens of various conferences, forums, negotiations, meetings and exhibitions with the participation of representatives of many countries of the world are held here every year.
Cars were already driving along the clean avenues of Ashgabat, and sidewalks, breathing with freshness, were waiting for their first pedestrians.
NT. Photo: Hasan MAGADOV.