honorable and dear guests!
Nowruz has more than six thousand years of history, is our greatest national holiday and the New Year of our ancestors, which we inherited from ancient times. Our glorious ancestors with joy and glee, from young to old, greeted the beginning of spring and the awakening of nature.
In these moments, when we are on the eve of this grand international holiday, I sincerely congratulate all the glorious people of Tajikistan, foreign compatriots, the entire Persian-speaking world, the intelligentsia, the representatives of the diplomatic corps and all of you – the distinguished guests.
I also greet the dear guest of our country, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mr. Minnikhanov Rustam Nurgaliyevich, who arrived in Tajikistan for today’s Navruz celebrations and congratulate the friendly Tatar people, and those in the region of Navruz.
Today’s event is also attended by a World Bank delegation led by Bank Director for Strategic and Operational Issues, Ms. Mariam Sherman, and representatives of development partners, as well as heads of advisory and contracting companies, and I congratulate them all on the occasion of the International Navruz.
From century to century, the Tajik people inherited Navruz and carried it to the present day.
Thanks to the independence we achieved for our Nation, Nowruz was not only declared an official holiday, but also as a result of the efforts made by the Government, Navruz also gained international status and is respected around the world.
This is a source of pride for the ancient Tajik people, for everyone who honors the traditions and customs of the ancestors of the inhabitants of Tajikistan.
This holiday, the main essence of which is happiness, prosperity and indestructibility of the human race, directs people to mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence, beneficence and creation, calls for love and respect and protection of nature and enviroment.
Especially in our era, when humanity faces unprecedented difficulties as a result of the acceleration of global warming process, this is extremely importante.
It is this factor that prompted the United Nations to recognize Nowruz as an international holiday and to recommend its celebration in various regions of the planet.
In Navruz days, it is a custom to organize gatherings, visit each other and in the whole world, old and young, regardless of age, nation and religion celebrate the traditions inherented from Navruz, which expresses our nations values.
In fact, Navruz has no connection with the religious and political view, rejects nationalism and racism, and its basis is humanism, the exaltation of man and nature.
It should be noted that in terms of age, Navruz is twice as old as one of the most ancient religions – Zoroastrianism.
Navruz is a holiday of equinox, a period of balancing the way of life, the beginning of agricultural work, spring sowing and all kinds of creative initiatives.
After a long winter , people expect with great joy Nowruz as a herald of the onset of warmth, the personification of the awakening of nature and the beginning of a new life.
We have decided to hold celebrations on the occasion of Navruz this year with the participation of guests and intellectuals in the city of Nurek, Khatlon region.
Since time immemorial, the inhabitants of Khatlon have been famous for their hospitality and benevolence, courage and desire for freedom and creativity.
From ancient sources, it is known that the inhabitants of ancient Khutal (Khatlon) made a significant contribution to the preservation of traditions and holidays of our forefathers and today they follow this path with steady steps, which is and evidence of the celebration of Navruz in Nurek.
Nurek is considered a city of power, industry and engineering and makes a valuable contribution to the development of our beloved country. Construction of the Nurek hydropower plant, the largest in Central Asia, began in 1967, and the first unit with a capacity of 300 megawatts was commissioned on November 15, 1972.
In 1979, the hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 2700 megawatts was fully operational. But as a result of continuous activity and the age of technological equipment, today its capacity has decreased by 400 megawatts.
Since 2005, with the support of development partners, work has been carried out on cleaning the lower part of the power plant, monitoring the safety of its dam, creating 500- and 220-kilovolt closed gas-insulated devices for a total of 900 million somoni.
Taking into account the importance of the hydropower plant in the development of the country’s economy and preventing its capacity from diminishing, the Government of Tajikistan in 2015-2016, in cooperation with development partners, prepared a feasibility study for the project “Reconstruction of Nurek Hydropower Plant”, and today, on the eve of Navruz, the first in the queue, the financing of three and a half billion somoni, which is equal to 350 million US dollars is ensured. Reconstruction of the Nurek hydropower plant will be carried out in two phases involving nearly 7 billion somoni over 10 years.
The first phase of the project covers the reconstruction of three units and auxiliary equipment, six transformers and, at the same time, the completion of work related to dam safety.
At the second stage of the project, the reconstruction of six other units and auxiliary equipment is planned.
This means that after the implementation of the project, the Nurek HPP will be completely renewed and will have a second life.
I would like to especially note that in the framework of the project for the implementation of the reconstruction of hydropower plants, a well-known international company delivers and installs the latest equipment, as well as introduces modern technologies.
It is also important that in the process of carrying out works on the reconstruction of hydropower plants at the expense of local residents, thousands of specialists and workers will be provided with jobs.
It should be noted that as a result of this activities the design capacity of the station will increase from 3,000 to 3,300 megawatts, and taking into account the lost capacity, 700 megawatts of additional capacity will be commissioned.
As a result, the provision of the population and the national economy with electric power will noticeably improve, which will give a powerful impetus to the implementation of one of the strategic national goals : industrialization and increasing the country’s export potential; these measures will also contribute to employment.
In addition to this, the position of Tajikistan as a country producing electricity from renewable sources and implementing a green economy will become even more consolidated on a global scale.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of the World Bank, the International Development Association and the Eurasian Foundation for Stability and Development, who supported the plans of the Government of Tajikistan and contributed to the work on the start of the reconstruction of the Nurek Hydroelectric Power Plant.
During the period of state independence, the Government of Tajikistan, emphasized the great importance to the development of Nurek – the energy supplying industrial city, not only carried out repairs and reconstruction of various parts of the power plant, but also made a lot of efforts to create dozens of new social institutions.
In a short time Nurek radically changed its appearance and is currently one of the most beautiful and exemplary cities in the country.
The creation of new social institutions, including institutions of education and health, hotels and modern service centers, further decorated and renewed the city, and today Nurek is one of the desired and attractive places for tourists.
Along with this, dozens of new workshops and industrial enterprises were opened, resulting in hundreds of additional jobs.
Nurek in the future due to two reasons may become a Mecca for tourists.
Firstly, it is located not so far from the capital, and the movement through the Dushanbe-Kulyab highway is quite comfortable.
Secondly, in Nurek and its surroundings there are clear waters, the city is notable for its favorable climate and picturesque nature, which allows turning it into a relaxing place for residents of the country, guests and foreign tourists.
I am confident that the leaders of Khatlon and the city of Nurek will take additional measures to create a tourist infrastructure, treatment and recreation centers, and the end they will attract more direct investment and domestic entrepreneurs, and turn Nurek into an attractive tourist area.
One of our goals in announcing the Years of rural development, tourism and folk crafts is precisely to use all the opportunities to improve villages, develop social and tourist infrastructure and thus create new jobs for compatriots.
I have no doubt that in the course of three future years our villages will be completely transformed and efforts of domestic entrepreneurs and patriotic citizens of the country will make it even more beautiful, they will have modern infrastructure, and thus many issues will be solved.
Along with this, great conditions will be created for the development of tourism in remote cities and regions of the country, including in the Khatlon region, new modern tourist facilities will be built, and historical and cultural areas will welcome and attracte domestic and foreign tourists.
Since ancient times, the Tajik people are famous and proud of the crafts that our ancestors left us as an inheritance.
I hope that in these three years, folk crafts in the country will develop widely, and the products of craftsmen will diverge around the world.
One of the main traditions of Nowruz from the beginning of its appearance is the creative work and improvement.
In the days of the celebration of Nowruz, our ancestors, with good intentions, laid the foundation for improvement, expanded the acreage and made efforts to ensure prosperity in every home.
We must also continue this remarkable tradition, make efforts to improve the country, and leave a developed and prosperous land for future generations.
It is very symbolic that on the second day of the celebration of Navruz, the world community will celebrate World Water Day.
Water, like Navruz, is also a symbol of purity and well-being, joy and continuation of life.
Fortunately, our beloved Tajikistan has vast reserves of water and is currently at the forefront of solving water-related issues on the global development agenda.
At the initiative of our country, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2018-2028 the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, and in two days, on March 22, the second year of the decade will begin.
I am confident that the people of our country will make even more efforts ,the rational use of water resources and other natural resources, environmental protection, and thus help to solve water-related problems as part of the activities of this international initiative, especially on the days of the celebration of Nowruz.
I congratulate once again on the great and blessed holiday of Navruz all the glorious people of Tajikistan, all the Persian-speaking world, the peoples and countries of the planet who celebrate it, and sincerely wish all of you, dear guests, happiness and prosperity, prosperity in every home, and our independent Tajikistan – eternal peace and tranquility, political stability and national unity.
May there be a blessed Navruz for each of you,
And may You experience Navruz every day and hour.
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