From Sabotage to Negligence: Kyrgyz Parliament Seeks to Hold Bishkek Plant Management Accountable After Accident

A special commission is working at the Bishkek thermal power (CHP) plant to find out the cause of the recent accident, with the President of Kyrgyzstan stating that he’s taken personal control over the investigation.

At a meeting of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic today, MPs demanded the plant’s management be held accountable – the same management which issues reassurances that there would be no accidents this winter, and that all equipment was ready for the cold season.

“At a strategic facility, the manager has changed three times during the year. It is good that the accident happened at night and not during the day. The damage is said to have exceeded one billion som ($11 million). How many people were hurt, and who will be held responsible? The leaders must answer,” MP Emil Toktoshev said, addressing those gathered at the meeting.

“It is time to move from just a visual inspection of machinery and equipment to a fully-fledged technical audit, and not only [the Bishkek plant], but, in general, all boiler and power plants should be inspected not by eye. Let’s find out what the problems and what needs to be done,” said MP Dastan Bekeshev.

In the early hours of February 2nd, an incident at the Bishkek CHP plant injured five people, and the city was left without heat and hot water for several days. The interdepartmental commission has been tasked with identifying the cause of the accident within a month. Based on this analysis, a list of urgent tasks will be developed which they say will ensure a stable end to the fall-winter heating period of 2023-24. Measures will also be drawn up to prevent similar situations in the future, including proposals for the reconstruction of the plant, and the decentralization of Bishkek’s entire heating system.

The Bishkek Prosecutor’s Office has opened a criminal case over the accident.