Tbilisi Railway Bypass to infringe the right of the citizens
18 May, 2011
Tbilisi Railway Bypass to  infringe the right of the citizens

 

Avchala, Gldani, Didi and Patara Lilo, nearby territory of Tbilisi Sea - residents of these districts of Tbilisi are complaining about the infringement of their rights. These are the areas where new railway bypass will be built and run across the private property of inhabitants – the houses where they live as well as the agricultural lands they own.

 

“Georgian Railway” LLC has launched a “Tbilisi Railway Bypass project” for developing

the new railway route bypass in the downtown area of the capital. The main goal of the project is to cut down environmental and traffic problems in Tbilisi, as well as improve the efficiency of railway’s functioning and also enhancing the integrity of the separated parts of Tbilisi caused by the existing infrastructure. The government offers compensation to the land owners whose property will be crossed by the new railway bypass, but the residents describe it as an “inadequate compensation”.

“They didn’t give me any appropriate documentation that defines according to what criteria my land had been estimated. They tell me straightforwardly that I will be given 6 Lari for a sq/m.  I fully understand that it is a strategic object and I am not allowed to act against the government regarding this issue. The main problem is an adequate compensation, because it is absolutely impossible to buy a land for 6 Lari in Tbilisi nowadays”, Nodar Ebanoidze,  one of the land owners told Georgian Journal.

Head of Juridical Help Centre of Georgian Young Lawyers Association Mr. Kakha Kozhoridze emphasizes two main problems the inhabitants are facing: “The government does have a right to expropriate someone’s private property under the terms and conditions of paying appropriate compensation for it. The City Hall usually announces so called normative price within the limits of 15 Lari, but the reality is that the people concerned are offered much less amount of money than that. There are also the lands that are to be divided into two parts by the new railway line, which will automatically make both parts useless, but no compensation is offered for it.  There is one more problem of commercial property and business compensation. The Government only offers the building price instead of compensating the entire business which is going to stop functioning because of them”.

The project of Tbilisi Railway Bypass was launched in June of 2010. LLC “Georgian Railway” signed an agreement according to which the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will finance the project. In order to protect the interests of land owners, recently the EBRD sent a team of independent audits. They are carrying out the audit of compensation procedure.

“According to the Georgian Law, before the court gives “Georgian Railway” the right to expropriate the property of citizens, the government should at first offer new conditions to the population; then in case the agreement is still not achieved, they should appeal to the court again and only after that they are allowed to expropriate the property. The reality is that LLC “Georgian Railway” skipped the second stage of the procedure of hearing the case in the court and has already taken into its ownership the lands belonging to the residents of Tbilisi. This is a serious violation of the law”, the member of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association explained.

The representatives of “Georgian Railway” LLC prefer not to  give any comments on the issue, while Tbilisi Population is looking forward to the final conclusion of the EBRD experts’ team, which will be announced in the nearest future.

 

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