Leaders of Iran

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

TCC Head Mehdi Chamran Reflects On Key Issues

Iran Daily: "TCC Head Reflects On Key Issues

Mehdi Chamran
Tehran Street Name Change Ratified
The issue of changing the name of Khaled Eslamboli Street continues to overshadow reestablishment of Tehran-Cairo ties.
The decision to change the street's name was made after the presidents of the two countries met in the course of the Global Information Society meeting, opening a new chapter in the history of bilateral relations. Subsequently, Egyptian officials decided to show their good intentions and change the name of Pahlavi Street in Cairo.
Khaled Eslamboli was a young Egyptian officer who assassinated former President Anwar Sadat 20 years ago after the Camp David deal.
In an interview with the head of the Tehran City Council (TCC), Mehdi Chamran, Iran Daily's Farzaneh Shokri asked about the street name change as her first question. Full text follows:

IRAN DAILY: Why was the name of Khaled Eslamboli Avenue not changed although normalization of Cairo-Tehran relations has been decided at the top level in both countries?
CHAMRAN: TCC has agreed to the street name change. All TCC members have verified this ratification. But the actual name change depends on the interaction between the Iranian and Egyptian governments.

What measures have been adopted for resolving Tehran's traffic problems and the issue of relocating the fairgrounds? What has been done to resolve the differences among the government, TCC and Tehran Municipality?
Relocating the Tehran permanent fairgrounds can help resolve many of Tehran's traffic problems, but due to the absence of a serious will among our colleagues at the Organization for Exhibitions this problem remains. It is necessary for this organization to remain impartial and agree to relocate the fairgrounds for solving the capital's traffic problems.

Most buildings of Tehran are not up to standard. Since Tehran is located on the seismic fault-line, what new ratifications has TCC made for construction projects?
From the beginning of the second round of TCC activities, we insisted that we should not have irregular construction projects. Construction projects that received permits before the second round of activities are not a topic of discussion, but we shall definitely abide by international standards for issuing new construction permits.
What about upgrading the resistance of buildings against earthquakes?
In small buildings, the desirable supervisory mechanism has not been implemented. Last year, TCC issued a ratification according to which all buildings should be issued technical identification cards. This task will be soon implemented upon the collaboration of the TCC, the Ministry of Housing and the Engineering Organization. In order to prevent irregular construction projects and abide by construction standards, the technical specifications of all new buildings will be examined by Tehran Municipality. Therefore, it is crucial that all new construction projects that receive permits present their technical calculations and designs for boosting resistance against earthquakes.

Could you tell us about the problems encountered in administering Tehran?
These problems include financial barriers, non-transparency of laws and regulations, legal contradictions and monetary problems which have essentially led to delays in implementing the Tehran subway project
If these problems are resolved, we can complete four more subway lines and resolve 25 percent of Tehran's traffic problems.
Generally speaking, the government plays a major role in resolving the problems of large cities. Tehran has its own problems since it is the capital city. The government can help us by offering financial assistance. Absence of financial resources is also responsible for the non-implementation of new highway projects and purchase of gas-powered buses from European countries for upgrading the transport sector.

Given the interaction and coordination between TCC and TM, the traffic and environmental conditions of Tehran was expected to improve. However, we still lag behind the ideal situation. Why is it so?
Although the TCC and TM interact effectively, the problems of Tehran are not being resolved in a speedy manner since TM has limited financial resources. Once TM used to sell construction density and procured its financial needs to some extent. But now this is not being done and we are facing a serious financial crisis."

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