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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City Hall Gives Hand to Auto-Repair Shops

Faced with the skyrocketing number of cars on Moscow's streets in the last five years, City Hall has been helping private companies to build or upgrade auto-repair shops across the city, Leonid Lipsits, head of the city department for transportation and communications, said Tuesday.

The city has also created training programs for mechanics in an effort to improve the standard of service, Lipsits said at the city government's regular weekly meeting.

Both initiatives were part of a five-year program that began in 2001. The program came as a response to a growing number of complaints from motorists about the poor quality of auto-service centers in the city.

A total of 1,453 new or upgraded garages entered service from 2001 to 2005, Lipsits said, without explaining how the city had helped in their construction and renovation.

Calls to the department's press office went unanswered Tuesday afternoon.

The number of motorists' complaints about poor service has steadily declined over the last three years, Nadezhda Golovkova of the Moscow City Society for the Protection of Consumers' Rights, a nongovernmental organization, said at the session.

As of July 1, there were 3.1 million cars on the road in Moscow, Lipsits said, adding that this number was certain to grow.

Given the huge demand for new cars, many Muscovites wait up to six months for delivery of popular foreign models, he said.

A new program for improving standards in the auto-repair business will be finalized by the end of next year, Lipsits said.

The city government also approved the creation of a new park to serve the recently developed districts of Novokosino, Kosino-Ukhtomskoye and Kozhukhovo, located in eastern Moscow.

The park, which was designed by the state-run Institute for the Development of the General City Plan, a zoning agency, will be placed smack in between the three districts, city officials said.

At 600 hectares, the new park will be the same size as Sokolniki Park, said Nikolai Yevtikheyev, the prefect of the city's eastern administrative district.

As is customary, Luzhkov told the institute to take into account suggestions made during the discussion and to submit the final plan for his signature.

Most of the suggestions concerned the preservation of three lakes and a stretch of the Rudnevka River within the planned park.