TASHKENT -- A group of residents of the Uzbek capital have protested the government's plan to merge parts of the city with the surrounding region.
Some 300 residents of three neighborhoods located in the Uchtepa district of Tashkent rallied on August 6 in a rare protest, demanding that the government decision be canceled.
The protesters said that they do not want to lose the status of residents of the capital, as that may lead to problems with placing their children in better schools in Tashkent and finding better jobs that require employees to be city residents.
According to the protesters, the move will lead to changes in the cadastral documents of their properties, which most likely will cause a loss in the properties' values.
The demonstration took place a day after a television report said that the plan to merge parts of the Uchtepa district with the Tashkent region had been outlined in accordance with an order of President Shavkat Mirziyoev.
Officials explained the move was necessary "to eliminate disparities in administrative boundaries of the capital...and improve infrastructure to make it more convenient for the population."
Uchtepa district Mayor Farhod Abdullaev met with the protesters and promised to inform Tashkent Mayor Jahongir Ortiqhojaev about their demands, after which the protest ended.
Protests questioning government's decisions are very rare in the tightly controlled Central Asian state.
After Mirziyoev came to power following the death of authoritarian President Islam Karimov in 2016, he promised reforms and more freedom, including involving ordinary people in social, economic, and political developments in the country.