01:19 GMT +315 December 2018
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    Vegetables and fruit in the market of Damascus

    Extensive Restoration of Infrastructure Underway in Damascus Suburbs

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    DAMASK (Sputnik) - Workers and ordinary residents of Deir al-Asafir, a suburb of Damascus, liberated a few years ago, are returning to a life of peace and restoring the infrastructure that was destroyed by the war.

    Deir el-Asafir was recovered from militants in May 2016, after which mine clearance was carried out.

    There were 10 people in the brigade of sapper Omar Asas who were installing new utility poles with a crane.

    "We should provide water and install power lines in Deir al-Asafir to ensure that there is light, warmth and comfort in each house, that there are water and sewerage so that people who return to their homes feel comfortable. There is a great deal of work; we will work at least two or three months in Deir al-Asafir," Asas told reporters.

    READ MORE: 'With War or With Peace': Damascus Vows to Regain Control of Whole Syria

    According to Asas, more than 1,000 families have already returned to the city.

    "When we finish laying down water lines and setting up the electricity supply. We still expect the return of 11,000 families," he added.

    A man walks in a graveyard near destroyed graves in a neighbourhood heavily damaged by air strikes in the village of Deir al-Asafir in the rebel-held region of Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus (File)
    © AFP 2018 / AMER ALMOHIBANY
    A man walks in a graveyard near destroyed graves in a neighbourhood heavily damaged by air strikes in the village of Deir al-Asafir in the rebel-held region of Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus (File)

    Along with the restoration of infrastructure, people were returning to the city, opening shops and repairing houses. A windows salesman, Muhammad Attuk, told Sputnik about how his business was gradually developing.

    "We have been working here for a short time, but now four or five people are coming in daily. When the electricity comes up and people start to increasingly return, our windows will be in a great demand. You see, the militants left nothing. Not a single window frame, everything was burned down," he said.

    Business owner Mahmud was baking pies with meat and cheese.

    "We opened about a month ago. There were very few buyers at first, but today about 100 people come to us daily," he said.

    In a picture taken through a bus window, people drive their motorcycles in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018
    © AP Photo / Sergei Grits
    In a picture taken through a bus window, people drive their motorcycles in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018

    Hadi Hamid, a local resident, was repairing his destroyed house.

    "Now, we are fixing the kitchen. We brought a stove but have not installed it yet — we have to renovate first. There was a fire, all the interior walls were destroyed, and then they were built again. Now we do not have electricity or water. I plan to finish the repairs in a month and move in here with my family," he said.

    According to the Russian Center for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement, since July 18, 242 educational and 100 medical institutions have been restored; five automobile bridges and 548 kilometers (340.5 miles) of roads have been repaired; 479 kilometers of power lines have been set up; and 87 water supply facilities, 92 bakeries, 94 power stations, 23 industrial plants have been put into operation.

    Currently, work to restore and repair 133 schools, 109 pre-schools, 105 bakeries, 125 water pump stations, 114 power substations, 100 medical institutions, 1,419 houses and 79 religious buildings is underway in 207 communities in provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Latakia, Hama, and Homs.

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    infrastructure, restoration, Syria, Damascus
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