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New Boulevard At the Expense of Local Residents

September 18, 2009

Population Does not Have Information about the Amount of Compensation

maka malakmadze,batumi

Recently, the authority of Adjara Autonomous Republic has been boasting with the new boulevard on the seaside in Adlia. The governmental officials claim the local residents are happy with the new construction too. However, locals do not have information about the compensation either. The Human Rights Center could not find out the amount of the compensation despite many efforts because Batumi City Mayor Robert Chkhaidze could not find time for us.

Initially 15 out of total 60 families in the “red zone” in Adlia will be evicted. Local people say Robert Chkhaidze and head of City Hall Administration Gela Makharadze warned them strictly: “Do not create illusions; remember you should accept whatever you are offered.”

Giuli Selimba, a resident of Adlia: “My house is located on the land of 500 sq. meters. We are told they will pay 40 USD for one sq. meter. It is ridiculous.”

“One week ago, Robert Chkhaidze came and said almost every house will be removed by the end of November. Ok, they will remove our houses, but do they think if their proposals are acceptable for us? I want to meet the president. In summer he was here every evening but his body-guards did not allow me to meet him.”

Donari Partenadze, a resident of Adlia: “I am on the list of those families who will be evicted from the very beginning. We are 15 families. When we ask how much shall be paid to us as compensation, the officials from the Batumi City Hall tell us they have not decided yet. My house will be removed very soon and they have not decided how much to pay me for the destroyed house. Every day we see the businessmen come and look at our plots; they are dividing our properties without asking anything to us.”

Eldar Vardmanidze, a resident of Adlia: “When there was poultry raising factory here and flies were bothering us permanently, nobody paid attention to us. We lived in terrible conditions, we could not have dinner at home because of huge number of flies; there was terrible smell in the area. Now the government visits our district every day. However, we cannot reach them to talk to.”

6 families were evicted from the seaside in Adlia after they reached agreement. At that time Avtandil Darchia, deputy minister of finances and economics of Adjara Autonomous Republic, was negotiating with the population about the fact. Darchia said, those families were lucky: “They received flats in the center of Batumi and the space of the new flats was equal to their old ones. Besides that, they received the same space of land in other district. At the moment Batumi City Hall is negotiating with the population.”

The Human Rights Center got in touch with the Public Relation Office of the Batumi City Hall but we could not appoint meeting with the Mayor. The Public Relation Office replied: “If we find anybody in the City Hall who can answer your questions we will appoint the meeting for you, but if you have questions only with Robert Chkhaidze, it is impossible because he is very busy and even we cannot meet him.”

The New Boulevard was open on August 21. By the way, it was first opening ceremony in Adjara where the president was not present. The length of the new boulevard is 1 200 meters. The officials say glass-bridges will be built over the artificial river and new street-lights will be installed there. About 20 000 plants were brought from abroad for this boulevard. 27 million GEL was spent on the construction and it finished in two months. Spanish designers were working on it.