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59

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA’S TRANSPORT SERVICES 59
Under the administration of Dzershinsky,
appointed " Commissary for Roads and Com
munications," the whole system of transport was
reorganised in 1921, at the same time that the
" New Economic Policy " was introduced.
The Communistic gratis-system was abolished ;
the administration of the various lines was handed
over to committees who were given a certain
amount of independence, and who were permitted
to organise their railways on a commercial basis.
This complete readjustment, introduced at a
moment when Russia was economically exhausted,
and in addition was stricken by a famine more
terrible than any that had gone before, could not,
of course, be carried out without great difficulty.
Nevertheless, it brought about a considerable
improvement in the working of the whole system
of transport, an improvement of which I have
been able to convince myself by the numerous
reports from our delegates who have had to
superintend the transport of the food-stuffs
despatched to the starving populations of the
Volga and the Ukraine.
In addition to this radical readjustment of the
system itself, energetic measures were taken to
improve the lines and bridges.
Thus it may be mentioned that by August 1,
1922, 1,542 bridges had been completely repaired;
2,090 bridges had been temporarily put right;
while only 40 still remained in disrepair.
At the same time a considerable amount of
worn-out railway material had been replaced, and

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