Karabash. In four years what will be? City? Hell?
A few years ago, being in a working trip across Central and South Ural, I happened to visit one of the most terrible places on the planet - Karabash. Karabash - the town located on the bank of the river of Saky - Elga, was founded in 1822 as the settlement of gold miners. Later there began to get and process copper ore. The settlement grew and turned into the city of miners. During the existence Karabash and its vicinities changed to unrecognizability. And all thanks to activity of the city-forming enterprise - Karabash copper-smelting combine which dense smoke from pipes for many years poisoned air the earth and water on all the district, for many years the combine worked at the outdated equipment, without caring for region ecology.
Already on an entrance to the city it becomes difficult to breathe, and to contemplate pictures of the red lands which are burned out by acid rains, black slurry waste heaps, desert coast of the orange rivers, without shudder it is impossible. For those who do not know: Slime - (from the German Schlamm, literally - dirt) the powdery product containing usually precious metals which are dropping out in a deposit at electrolysis of copper, zinc, etc. metals. A waste heap - (from the French Terri - a dump of breed, Conique - conic) - a dump, an artificial embankment from the dead rocks extracted by underground mining of coalfields and other minerals. That is around the landscape reminding the surface of Mars or the district which endured at least nuclear explosion.
Along coast of the rivers bearing the poisonous waters the vegetation, a sandy crust as in hot deserts, it is corroded cracks does not grow. On once the mountains which are buried in verdure no blade grows. And in old times Karabash received the name for the fact that mountains were covered with the impassable dense woods. Karabash in translation from Turkic “Dense top“ or “The black (dark) mountain“. The word “penalty“ at the Turkic people had many values (dark, heavy, black, dense (about the wood)). The word “bash“ - the head, top. Now, on a twist of fate and under the influence of the criminal attitude towards human nature, Karabash gains the second value: “The black mountain“ as thousands of thousands tone of the slag covering everything around formed the Chornye lifeless Range of waste of copper-smelting production. And this Chornye Range grows every day.
There was time when black dumps interested Japanese. In exchange for slime supply they promised to provide copper-smelting combine with the latest clearing equipment, but the management of the enterprise decided to arrive as that Ukrainian from a joke: “and itself and to others I will not give not din“. Later experts from Snezhinsk offered the option of application of production wastes, but, probably, those who are responsible for an ecological situation in the region in general and at the enterprise in particular, yet did not receive the necessary and direct shot under “the fifth point“ to begin to work.
But black waste heaps are not so terrible for ecology of Karabash and vicinities as the sulphurous gas which is emitted in the atmosphere. Getting to the atmosphere and connecting to water molecules there, it drops out in the form of acid rainfall. How to you a rain from sulfuric acid which spills not 1 - 2 time and it is constant during more than one hundred years? Thanks to such rains the landscape of Karabash also became such frightening. Of course, from the sky streams the concentrated chamois of acid do not flow, but their concentration in 2004 was enough to burn out all garden and garden landings of inhabitants of “a black hole“, Karabash. And at the end of June, 2010 led to approach of premature fall when the grass turned yellow and whithered and flew about leaves from trees. And if to take into account the fact that continuous loss of acid rainfall leads to extinction of vegetation, then over time there will be a thinning of a fertile layer of the earth which by means of winds and rains can be washed up and disappear absolutely that can lead to transformation of the most beautiful Ural Mountains into rocks …
If to look at a medical record of any resident of this infernal town, practically at everyone you will find problems with health. It will be oncological diseases, various dermatitis, respiratory diseases and many chronic diseases. An increasing number of children is born premature. Many of them already since the birth have whole “bunch“ of diseases.
In May, 2005 at top of the highest mountain - Bald, residents established a three-ton cross twelve meters high and scope - seven. He is visible from far away, from the route, as well as the inscription which is laid out on the mountain: “Rescue and keep!“ To whom that inscription is turned? To God? To the nature? To the earth destroyed by its inhabitants, employees and the management of copper-smelting combine which despite the promises to modernize production and to take care of improvement of an ecological situation in the city, having reduced emissions in the atmosphere and in the form of drains, will bear a brand of the exterminator live for a long time. Despite small improvement of an ecological situation lately, before targeting of a full order to them it is still very far. To them and their descendants it is necessary not only to watch the current ecological situation, but still it will be for many years necessary to correct the last errors which led of the nature to death and a fine picturesque landscape turned into surrealistic something, causing horror and panic in each city visitor.
I hope that to Karabash the destiny will throw me again not soon. Memories of it draw a sad picture: a caustic smoke from pipes of copper-smelting combine in an environment of the smoked bald mountains with rare skeletons of trees, the mountain of black slag in one part of the city, a garbage dump with the pack of carrion crows flying over it - in another. In the distance a light inscription on a slope of the bald mountain “Rescue and keep!“ And the cross rising over all this …
Involuntarily remembered Mayakovsky`s words: “... In four years there will be a garden city here!.“
In four years WHAT will be? City? Hell?