On March 16, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree banning mass events with more than 50 participants for quarantine. This prohibition also applies to public hearings as it was decided to hold them via the Internet.
Hearings on renovation issues and other city projects will be held in electronic format, on the “Active Citizen” portal, until the epidemiological situation in the capital improves. At the same time, the authorities assure that they intend to take into account all the wishes expressed by users on the network on the issues under consideration:
The electronic format in no way restricts the rights of citizens, but, on the contrary, provides additional opportunities. First of all, it saves time, which sometimes we all lack, and secondly, in the current epidemiological situation, this is a security issue. The electronic format will enable all residents to participate in the discussion without violating the quarantine”, said Juliana Knyazhevskaya, head of the Moscow Architecture Committee.
However, the expression “to all residents” raises many questions: do all residents have access to the Internet, do all residents have the necessary devices for this, and will all citizens be able to register on the portal? And if we take into account the categories of low-income people, elderly people, then the answers to these questions will not seem as unambiguous as they seem to Ms Knyazhevskaya.
It is also worth recalling that even “live” hearings in most cases were a poorly played performance, which we wrote about more than once. Also, there are often cases when no one held any hearings, although they were obliged to do so. What opportunities for fake tricks the Internet format might open up is a great question waiting to be answered.