Tbilisi Railway Bypass Bypasses Landowner’s Rights
01 September, 2011
Tbilisi Railway Bypass Bypasses Landowner’s Rights

Tbilisi Railway Bypass project that is implemented by the state owned Georgian Railway Ltd, is accused of illegal expropriation of lands and intimidation of landowners in the frames of resettlement plan. Georgian Railway swears it is not guilty. 

The fourth phase of expropriation of lands within the framework of the resettlement plan of Tbilisi Railway Bypass Project, which is tentatively estimated at EUR 300 million reportedly started about a fortnight ago, Zakaria Kutsnashvili, Head of non-governmental organization Law for People, informed

Georgian Journal.   Kutsnashvili protects interests of about 100 landowners whose rights of ownership were violated by the resettlement plan of Georgian Railway (GR). According to him, rights of more than 860 proprietors have been violated by the resettlement plan that stretches from one end of the capital to the other along 27 kilometers.  GR had been offering much lower than market price to landowners  and forcing reluctant landowners to sign transaction through intimidation methods.

GR undertook the bypass project to discharge the city of environmentally-related problems and noise as well as make railway transportation more comfortable.  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) co-finances the project by EUR 100 million and European Neighborhood Investment Fund (ENIF) donates EUR 8.5 million worth technical assistance and grants. However the strong provision for funding is compliance of resettlement plan with the EBRD’s environmental and social requirements based on international standards. These standards first of all include disbursement of fairly calculated compensations to the affected landowners.

But proprietors affected by the resettlement process claim GR underestimated market prices for the negotiated lands, and as far as it has a right of expropriation implements illegal expropriation in fact thanks to the state and court support. According to Kutsnashvili, GR undertook policy of intimidation before the court empowered it by expropriation right and forced 630 victims to sign so called “volunteer” land hand-over transactions and started land-acquisition based on this allegedly legal paper-work  in four phases since February of 2011 up to date. The second phase was in March-April, the third phase in this past June and the fourth phase launched just recently. About 17 people contacted Kutsnashvili and claimed on the illegal expropriation.

“The violation methods did not change however. If municipality sells lands for GEL 20 per square meter GR offers just GEL 6 in lands of the similar market value. There are several co-owners in some cases but GR pays compensation only to one. Moreover, the major part [90%] of the questioned lands are agriculture and railway track dissects many of them in two-three parts that makes them useless for farming and gardening. According to Georgian law, GR must pay 100% of compensation for all sections of the dissected land plot but it pays only for one and even this one is underpaid. GR calls people to the police stations and forces them to sign a transaction that violates their property rights, but most people fear and sign that diminishes number of protesting victims officially but it never means that they stroke fair transactions.” Kutsnashvili said.

On the other hand government upholds the GR to get through with the illegal expropriation process as soon as possible.  The court is responsible to grant expropriation right to any state body according to Georgian law. But the state body has a right to appeal to court only after it gets a status of expropriator from the minister of economy.  However, GR had a shorter route to this end. Vera Kobalia, minister of economy of Georgia, in her order issued in this past June directly granted the GR with the expropriation right thus encroaching on the court’s competence.

To find a fair treatment part of the offended proprietors appealed to the EBRD for help. The EBRD sent an independent audit  to check whether land acquisition, compensation and resettlement activities carried out by GR comply with EBRD requirements.

“This audit has led to a number of recommendations and questions to GR. We are currently expecting GR’s final response on these questions and implementation of recommendations contained in the audit report,” The EBRD commented to GJ. The Bank did not disclose details of questions and recommendations however under the pretext that the audit was undertaken as part of the project implementation and is an internal tool that the EBRD used in response to some complaints which came from members of the public.

“The audit’s findings are not planned for public disclosure at this time, but they will be used to find a solution acceptable to all parties,” The EBRD source said.

According to Nina Phkhakadze, Head of Legal department at GR, the resettlement plan that is one of the preconditions to get the EBRD funding is already through and GR may appeal to the EBRD for the loan transfer any time. She assures that “the EBRD independent audit did not discover any serious infringement and that the compensations were disbursed in full compliance with the Georgian law as well as the EBRD’s environmental, social policy and resettlement requirements.”

The EBRD meantime accentuated that “the EBRD to date did not disburse any part of the loan. Per the loan agreement such disbursements are conditional to satisfactory resolution of land acquisition issues, amongst other conditions.”

Print
Other Stories
Inovative and reliable online shop in Georgia - Momitane.ge
Status of Georgia as a business and tourism interesting country is growing from year to year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com Head Speaker List featuring Circle, DEX.top and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
GAZELLE FINANCE GEORGIA AND TBC BANK HELP THE WESTERN REGIONAL CENTER OF MODERN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES EXPAND ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE SERVICES IN KUTAISI, GEORGIA
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equiavlent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
12.11.2018
13.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7146
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0800
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.5325
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0430
4.0131
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30