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INSEPARABLE FROM THE ROAD LIFE
These days, the road sector of Mongolia celebrates its 90th anniversary. For this anniversary, we invited for an interview in the corner “MAIN HERO” of our magazine “Mongolian Women” a woman who, like men, has been working in the road industry for many years.
She received her education in a socialist society, linked life and career to the road industry, and has worked in the same road construction organization for 38 years.
-Congratulations on 90th anniversary of Mongolian road sector on behalf of all the readers of the magazine “Mongolian Women”. Please tell us about the story how you entered the road industry?
- I was born in 1961 in Ikh Tamir soum of Arkhangai province. After graduating the 8th grade, I entered the Railway Technical College in Ulaanbaatar by the major of “Road Construction and Maintenance Technician”. After graduating college I started my career in the road industry. I also graduated the evening class of the Institute of Construction Engineering by the major of a “Road Construction Engineer”. After graduating the College of Railway Transport in 1981, I have been working continuously in the road industry for 38 years. As a child I dreamed of becoming a kindergarten teacher. My parents worked for many years in the railway industry. At that time, all those who finished the 8th grade had two ways: to enter a technical school or to continue their studies at school. I received a quota for entering the Gobi-Altai Province’s Medical School. But my grandfather said: “You grew up in the steppe. Therefore, it is better to follow the footsteps of your parents rather than to go to a deserted place” and forbade me to go there. There was only one choice. There was only a quota for entering the Technical College of Railway Transport. At that time, not everyone had the concept of a road specialty. My grandfather said: “Probably, this profession is connected with a shovel and broom. But nothing. This specialty is close to your parents” and ordered to choose it. I thought that I would study four years how to sweep the garbage, and was very upset. So I entered the road industry.
- Which teacher and situation did you meet on the first day of the University?
- We were taught by professional teachers Baatarbileg, Pagmajav, Gongor and others. Students from different parts of the country for the first two years studied general academic subjects. And from the third year we passed practice. Under the guidance of director of the Road Institute Khundagaa A. I was practiced by experienced technicians Purevjav U. and Ganbat O. Thus I received my first professional knowledge. Soon, I began to realize that not everyone can construct the road. I began to realize that it consists of many stages, such as engineering exploration, the development of working drawings, and it is a combination of many factors.
In the fourth year I practiced in the Road Construction Trust under the direction of Sainzaya and Tserensodnom. Then I realized that by taking a shovel and a broom in my hand, I can not become a road worker. After graduating from the institute in June 1981, I received an appointment from the Main Road Administration, headed by Jigliy G. and got a job as a master at the Metropolitan Road Trust.
- You have worked in the road industry for 38 years. You have dedicated your hard work, youth, golden years of your life to this hard work. This profession is not easy, especially for a woman. Please share us the advantages and disadvantages of your work.
- We work in different weather conditions: in heat and cold, in strong wind, in frost and rain. If a blueprint is developed for the construction of a road over a mountain or in a rocky place, then we are carrying out construction work exactly according to it. Road workers will do all the hard work, blasting. From this point of view, of course, our work is hard. And we are going through all these difficult works, and gaining spiritual strength, also especially we, women, become more courageous. And also our families, spouses well understand our work. They manage all the family work. And thanks to them we build the road. Personally, I spent 38 years in the road industry, and my husband - 40 years. When children were small, sometimes it was difficult. We have four children. And my husband and I took two children to work, we were “militant” workers.
- Perhaps the construction of roads is not what we represent?
- Road construction is hard when you are staring it. Initially, exploration work and the selection of a route for the construction of the road are underway, a detailed drawing is being developed. Only according to this detailed drawing and according to the technical requirements the road and bridges are being built. Road construction is carried out in accordance with the “Road Design” standard and detailed drawings, as well as with the “Road Construction” standard.
- Are there any women engineers in this industry?
- At one time there were few female engineers in our road industry. In the 1980s, there worked Distinguished Engineer of Mongolia Baljinnyam, and after her Yanjindulam. Maybe I am one of several female engineers who came to work after 1981. After me, many women engineers in this industry were born, such as Tsengelmaa D., Oyunchimeg E., Enkhtuya D., Tsetsgee M. And now there are about 100 female engineers in the road sector.
- How did you meet your husband? You said that he also works in this industry.
- Yes. We met in 1981. At that time, he worked as a driver at the carpool. We got married in 1983, we had four sons. Now we have seven grandchildren. One of our sons inherited my profession and became a road construction engineer.
- How is the working day of road workers? Have you encountered a difficult road construction project, which is still not forgotten?
- In the summer, our road workers go to work at 6 am, and work ends at 11 pm, when it becomes dark. We work between sunrise and sunset, we perform work strictly according to the schedule. Every morning, we collect all the workers and give them safety instructions; we present the work schedule for the relevant day. So begins every working day. I myself control whether the work performed meets technical standards and requirements. Working for long hours, especially outdoors, in different weather conditions, of course, is difficult. We leave the home in April, and return home in November. I always follow one principle: once I start a work, I’m sure to finish it. Therefore, I did not have cases that due to the difficulty I left some kind of work. I think that “my fate is firmly fused with the road industry”. When we worked, our parents took care of our children, so at the same time my husband and I worked as if we had no children. Returning home after a long time was the happiest moment.
- In the construction of how many km of the road you took part? Do you have personal statistics?
- Approximately more than 1,000 km of road. I mainly worked as a performer in the construction of roads. We shared the total length of the constructed road. Every year, approximately, everyone got 15-20 km of the road. I personally took part in the construction of roads in all aimags (provinces) of our country. In Arvaikheer, Hotont, Tuvshruulekh soums of Arkhangai province built 20-30 km of a highway. If we consider the experience I have accumulated, then the most difficult is the construction of urban roads. In cities you can not close the traffic for a long time. We close only one lane of the road and try to finish the work in a day. The main focus is on how to build a high-quality road in a fairly short period of time. In the road industry, quality, technology and technology, time is important. But the safety of work is the most important.
Since 2012 I have been working as an engineer at LLC “ICT Sain Consulting”. After 17 years of continuous work in the road sector, I was awarded the highest award of this industry by the “The Best Employee of Road Sector”, which is the highest rating of my work. The industry reward is pleasing to the soul. Also, the Government appreciated my continuous and effective work in the road sector and awarded me the Order of the Polar Star.
- Today, all provinces of Mongolia are connected by road. From the familiar to our readers of highways, to which of them is your work attached? The main capital for bringing machinery, equipment is a man. Please, share us the experience from a position of the consulting engineer?
- In 1985, the construction of a trolleybus route began in Ulaanbaatar. I took part in the construction of a trolleybus route from Tavan Shar to Amgalan, from the Railway Station to Doloon Buudal. This construction was carried out in two stages. The first stage was completed in 1987, and the second - in 1989. And in 1989 the trolley route was commissioned. For construction, we used rocks from the Tasganii Ovoo. At that time, compared to today, the technique was not so good. Mostly used Soviet technology and equipment. In 1995, in connection with the privatization of the Road Construction Trust with the grant support of the Government of Japan, we used bitumen rock (obtained from Bayan Erhet) with the construction of the road from Bayan Davaa to Erdene soum. In 600 kg of the main composition, we must add 6% bitumen. And we added 4% of Russian bitumen and 2% of bitumen obtained from Bayan Erhet. With this road construction, we have accumulated a lot of experience from Japanese specialists. We built a 12-kilometer road in two years. Then we took up the construction of an improved dirt road from Hotont to Tsetserleg soum of Arkhangai province. First, to connect provinces with the capital, the dirt roads were replaced with improved dirt roads, and then onto asphalt roads. Thus, today throughout Mongolia, the provinces are connected with the capital by an asphalt road. For the success of the road works, the road construction engineers provide the executor with the technology, method, road construction schedule. Then we draw up a schedule, according to which it is indicated how many people need to work, what equipment to use, and when to perform the work. And according to the given schedule calculation is carried out, and we begin construction.
- You said “bituminous rock”. What does the road consist of? If you compare with the dish, what is the composition of the road?
- As I said, we used the bituminous rock as an experiment together with the Japanese specialists in the construction of a 12 km road from Bayan Davaa to Erdene soum. After that, we mainly buy bitumen 90/130 from Russia. Asphalt is the main ingredient. Add crushed gravel, mineral powder and get asphalt concrete. We use pavements 5 cm and 7 cm thick. In general, the road is a huge engineering infrastructure.
- I heard that in recent years you have been participating in the construction of the main road through which will transport oil. For Mongolia, this structure is a historic ...
- Work is underway on the construction of 26.5 km of the railway and 21.5 km of the highway, which will lead to the refinery. In one object I worked with 50-60 workers, in general, with 200 workers. For the construction of two roads were involved more than 1,000 people. A lot of young engineers work there. By now the excavation work of the construction of the railway is completed by 85%, and the highway - 60%. After that we will build the infrastructure. Now the technology of the connecting road is being introduced. We are building a bridge over the Sainshand - Zamiin-Uud road. Under this bridge should be built railway, which will lead to the refinery. And the road will be laid in Sainshand from the main road in the flower shape with three crossroads of 3.6 km in length. From our consulting company, 22 engineers participated in this project, totally 25 people.
- You work in the same organization until today. Please, share us about your story.
- Yes. After the privatization of the road trust, the company “Chandmani Zam” was formed, which was engaged in the maintenance of roads. Later it was renamed “Erdene Zam”. There I was engaged in the maintenance of the Baganuur and Nalaikh’s road. In 1995, on arrival of the Japanese, the Mongolian-Japanese joint venture “Konoika” was formed. Later I also worked in many projects. And since 2012 I have been working for the company “ICT Sain Consulting”.
- You have worked for 38 years in the road industry and today you are a consulting engineer. If you consider from your point of view, then the road sector of our country is at what level compared with other countries?
- The technology and qualified personnel of our road industry does not lag behind other countries. Graduated from a university abroad young people have good knowledge. I can proudly say that there are no other countries in the world that strongly follow technology and technical requirements for road construction. The great work of our veterans of the road industry helped to create this success. Chiefs Ochirbat S., Bud R., engineer Baljir R. and other engineers precisely followed the technology and technical requirements. We, the young engineers, also follow their footsteps. This is the secret of development of our industry.
- What technology does Mongolia build roads for? Does it reflect climatic features?
- At one time we followed Russian technology. And now we possess the western technology. In our country, 240 standards are applied in the road industry. Extreme weather conditions also have a significant impact. Of course, we take into account regional peculiarities. Also in our road industry, FIDIC contracts play an important role.
- How do you feel when you walk along the road you built yourself?
- Of course, I feel great. When the construction work begins, they first prepare the route for the excavation of the soil, and many construction and road machines start working at the same time. When these machines are just starting to work, I think how soon all this work will end. And when I walk along the newly built road, I feel some pride. Not only me, but everyone who participates in the construction of the road experiences this feeling. Taking this opportunity, I want to congratulate all the veterans of road industry, engineers and technical workers on the 90th anniversary of the Mongolian road sector. I wish you all health and success in your work!
Thank You for the interview.
Journalist, Editor Shurentsetseg Yu.