Salihorskers vote against urban densification at a meeting with the city authorities

2015 2015-08-14T14:33:30+0300 2015-08-14T14:34:12+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
"Meeting" with citizens, held by Salihorsk district authorities August 6, 2015

"Meeting" with citizens, held by Salihorsk district authorities August 6, 2015

Under public pressure, the head of Salihorsk District Executive Committee Aliaksandr Rymasheuski had to conduct a full-fledged meeting with the residents of the city, who are outraged with the destruction of the public garden near the shop "Lapis". It's worth noting that the previous meeting with the citizens was disrupted by the head of the DEC.

This time, the officials were more restrained, they expressed their position and listened to the people.

“There were at least a hundred people. Mr. Rymashevskiy said he had nothing against the cancellation of the construction, but in this case the authorities would reportedly have to pay the developer two billion rubles of penalties for breach of contract”, says the human rights activist leanid Markhotka. “It is ludicrous to hear from the authorities such concern about the businessmen's rights, but then we witnessed something that was even more weird – the head of the executive committee proposed the citizens to collect this money themselves in order to prevent the construction of the multi-storeyed house and preserve the public garden.”

Interestingly enough, the authorities called the public garden a spontaneous DIY that has been never provided for by the construction norms and the development plan of the city. However, they were interrupted by an elderly woman, who used to work in the executive committee back in the Soviet times, being engaged in gardening. It turned out that this park, and many other green areas
that have been destroyed during the rule of Aliaksandr Rymasheuski, had been created on purpose because of the existence of a number of environmentally hazardous industries of Belaruskali nearby.

The statements of the officials on the implementation of all norms are totally disproved by the civil society activist Uladzimir Shyla, a specialist in the construction industry: “What is happening now in Salihorsk is planting houses in free spaces. Earlier, this used to be done in Minsk, but now its authorities start refusing from this corrupt practice. One cannot just plant a house after checking the distances to the neighboring houses, so as not to violate the insolation norms. One needs to view the whole suburb as a complex entity and consider whether it has enough green zone, a sufficient infrastructure and is generally comfortable. The local authorities need to order a detailed planning project for the whole suburb. This work is to be done by specialists, who are few in number, such as Minskhramadzianprajekt. And these specialists must state that these houses can be constructed there. In our case, however, the authorities look at the map, see a seemingly free sport meeting the insolation norms and plant another house there.”

According to Uladzimir Shyla, the problem still lies in the fact that the new territories, envisaged by the General Plan of the city, are still used as agricultural land, and the permission for their use for urban development needs to be signed personally by the head of the state.

“The local authorities have been trying to receive such a permission for a long time already, as due to its absence the city is forced to grow inward”, said the social activist. “We proposed to Mr. Rymasheuski to declare the collection of signatures under an appeal to Lukashenka and direct them to the Presidential Administration before the Election Day, if the local authorities cannot reach an agreement with their boss. Pitifully enough, the head of the district executive committee refused from our assistance and assured that he would solve the issue on his own.”

At the end of the meeting, all dissatisfied citizens unanimously voted against the construction of the multi-storeyed house on the site of the public garden.