Deplorable Living Conditions in Hrazdan Dorms: Residents Get no Resolution from Government
Zepyur Harutyunyan has been living on the fourth floor of the former Hrazdan Technical School (Kotayk Regional State College) dormitory for 25 years.
Its inhabitants get fewer year by year. Zepyur says 13 families, who have no other home, live there. There are also families who have rooms in the dormitory but don’t reside there.
The long corridor of the dormitory is cold and dark. Zepyur borrows her neighbor’s iron ladder to climb onto the roof.
The woman says that although she’s 47 years old, she must climb onto the roof every day to try to stop the rain from leaking down. However, covering the roof with materials at hand doesn’t seem to work anymore. The rain constantly drips from the ceiling. When the heater is on, the damp smell becomes intolerable.
Zepyur invites us to their room. Her daughter quickly collects the laundry next to the heater. In one room, they’ve tried to create a space to live, but, according to Zepyur, it’s not habitable: it’s just a bit better than living on the street.
The building is registered as unsafe. They keep on writing complaint letters, but with no luck. The building is falling apart day by day, and it’s dangerous to live there.
"Last year, a 63-year-old woman fell into the water in the basement and drowned. She probably went to toilet there, I’m not sure. She was found a week later," Zepyur recalls.
There is only one toilet on each floor of the dormitory. The building doesn’t have a bathroom. Zepyur says people have to use rooms for those needs, too.
We walk around. The toilet on the second floor has no sewage pipes. There’s just a hole straight to the first floor. It stinks around.
All residents collect water from the faucet on the first floor. The water flows continuously, so that the pipesdon’t freeze, and there are thick layers of ice around the washbasin.
Standing in the yard of the dormitory for a few minutes, we notice people carrying cardboard. They collect boxes from nearby stores and streets to burn for heat.
The back of the building is being demolished. It’s full of garbage and dirt.
Residents say the government remembers them only before elections, when they are given plenty of promises, but nothing is done in practice.
Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant (TPP) Dormitory: Mikroshrjan District, Building 71
The second dormitory in Hrazdan, which is almost in the same situation, is in the Mikroshrjan district.
Disabled Samvel Tadevosyan is a former soldier. He has been living here with his wife for 18 years. He used to work as an electrician in the Hrazdan TTP before the war.
Samvel says there were windows and doors in the dormitory, and they even had a guard, so others could not enter the building. It’s now “full of dogs”.
Residents say around 25 families live here.
Samvel says it’s not possible to live like this any longer. He says he has renovated his room, but it does not help. The dampness is pervasive.
Aram Sirekanyan, who has lived here since 1995, takes us to the basement to see the drinking water pipes. He says the building has started to decompose. He brought some blankets to cover the pipes in the winter so that they do not freeze, but it doesn’t help, since the blankets get wet. Aram's father worked ат the TTP, when he got a room here.
Residents say most of the rooms were allocated while they worked at the TPP. They are afraid of being expelled at any moment.
Hrazdan Municipality Official: "We have nothing to do with dormitories"
Shota Khachatryan, the head of the Hrazdan Municipality’s Housing and Utilities Department, says that out of the two dormitories in Hrazdan, the college one is under the control of the government’s State Property Management Department.
"We have nothing to do with those two dormitories. We simply support with whatever possible - financial support, roofing materials, etc. Naturally, there are people with social issues living in those buildings. We are waiting for the government to act, since a complete renovation is required there,” says Khachatryan.
He says the technical college dormitory has 19 registered families (50 residents), while the TTP one has 45 families (75 residents). Refugees used to resideat the TTP dorm.
The State Property Management Department’s Reply
Hetq sent a query to the State Property Management Department about the Hrazdan College Dormitory. They replied that the building was handed over to their administration in 2005, for privatization of the rooms occupied by refugees living there and donating the remaining rooms to the Hrazdan city community. Since they found no refugee families residing in the building, it should have been fully allocated to the Hrazdan city community.
In order to carry out the allocation process, the administration has repeatedly applied to the community for state registration of property rights and transferal works, but the community has said that according to the conclusion provided by the relevant organization, the building is a fourth-degree collapse risk and is subject to demolition.
Thus, the community simply doesn’t want the buildingdue to its condition.
The replies of the Hrazdan Municipality and The State Property Management Department have done nothing to resolve the issues of the buildings and their residents.
P.S. Hetq also sent a written query to Hrazdan TTP about the status and fate of the TTP dormitory. Once we get their reply, we’ll publish it.
Photos: Saro Baghdasaryan