6 years ago, the resettlement of residents of the village of Eskene, in the Makat district, to the city of Atyrau did not affect the railway station. The station was withdrawn from the balance sheet of Kazakhstan Railways and attached to the Baygetobinskiy rural district. Since then the station has been in a state of uncertainty, it seems residents will also be relocated but when is uncertain.
There are around 100 houses here, but only 53 families live on site – the rest work in Atyrau or surrounding districts and rent apartments there.
“We live 7km from the Atyrau-Dossor road, we reach it by grader, in the winter it is completely impossible to get to the thaw area at all, says resident of Eskene Station, Zhenisbek Daulenov. In the village there is no school, kindergarten, first aid post, shop or gas, there is also no internet. Children go to school and back by train in the Dossor village, 30km away.
About 20 people are employed at the railway, the rest are unemployed. Passenger trains on the Atyrau-Aktobe, Aktobe-Atyrau line stop for just 3 minutes. Tickets are not sold in the village and therefore residents must hire taxis at a cost of 5000t each way. In the winter there is nothing to heat homes, coal is given only to those who work on the railway. Fuel must be brought from the city at 13000 tenge per ton.
“Nearby is the Karabatan plant which dumps gas at night. In the morning we wake up with headaches. It maybe a coincidence, but 5 people died of cancer this year, says resident Serik Turlanov. The situation in the village is dire and our plight is invisible. The authorities need to decide something, either to relocate us to the city or to provide the necessary infrastructure.”
Akim of the Makat district Zhumabai Karagayev
“We have had several meetings with the residents of Eskene station. Most would prefer relocation to Atyrau; however, this is not within our power. We have offered an option to relocate to Dossor or Makat, but this has been refused. People have cited examples of resettlement to regional centres of the residents of Baishonas, Koshkar and Komsomolsk, however this was funded by oil companies.