Road police inspectors are now stopping Zhiguli cars and outdated models of other vehicles and sending them to undergo a technical inspection. Radio Azatlyk has previously reported that the road police launched a campaign to clear the city of Soviet cars.
According to an employee of a car maintenance station, they were instructed to ensure that there should be no old cars on the roads and for this reason they refuse to carry out maintenance inspections of such vehicles. This has resulted in the car parks being filled with Zhiguli cars.
Drivers note that vehicles which are not equipped with safety airbags or look unpresentable are also being identified. It is considered that such cars should be barred from the city streets in the presence of tourists and journalists from foreign media outlets who are expected to cover the Games.
Due to their affordable price, Zhiguli are quite popular with the residents of Turkmenistan. Many buy them to engage in offering private taxi services and become the main source of income.
Zhiguli 2106 and 2107 models are popular among young people. Ashgabat street racers equip Zhiguli with state-of-the-art stereo systems, spoilers and discs and arrange car races around the city. The drivers initially assumed that the crackdown campaign on Zhiguli cars was launched to fight local street races. Now it has become obvious that these measures undertaken by the road police are linked to the Asian Games.
It should be noted that in the run-up to the Games not only cars which look unpresentable but also people are being removed from the city. For instance, on 10 April the Chronicles of Turkmenistan were informed that inhabitants of the apartment blocks located in front of the sports facilities located on Turkmenbashi avenue, received notifications from the khyakimlik's office to move out from their apartments during the Asian Games. No alternative accommodation or financial support was provided to them.
On 24 April we reported that the Ashgabat police had launched a fresh campaign to detain individuals with no fixed abode (the homeless) and those suffering from substance abuse, who will be kept in drug rehabilitation clinics until the closing of the Asian Games.
On 24 April President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov held a video teleconference, in the course of which the khyakim of Ashgabat made a progress report on the preparations for carrying out the planned mass cultural events.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan