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Investors Accused of Illegal Removal of Plants in Recreational Areas

Published: August 13, 2013 | 10:56 am
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How lawful was the sale of land for the planned construction projects in the Turtle Lake, Tsavkisi and Saburtalo Park areas? Aleksi Korghalishvili, member of the Tsavkisi Initiative Group organisation, has told TV3 that despite the land sale having been carried out lawfully, plans for the recreational zones have until now fallen victim to businessmen’s personal interests. He adds that the organisation never received a reply from the City Council and the Mayor’s Office with regards to the legality of the removal of trees. A judgement in the case is expected to be made during the course of the week. According to Mr. Korghalishvili, all three cases saw a systematic illegal removal of trees. He adds that there are up to 130 more privatised recreational zones across the capital that are faced with similar dangers.
Giorgi Korkashvili, the head of the Ecology Department at the Mayor’s Office, has told TV3 that the Tsavkisi Park was sold to Media Group, which plans to build a recreational centre there. According to him, up to 4 million Lari are to be invested into the project, and permits were handed out in full accordance with the law. Mr. Korkashvili describes the statements from NGOs as pure speculation, and states that the business sector interests must also be taken into account in such cases.
There have been reports of a systematic removal of plants by investors in the Turtle Lake, Tsavkisi Forest and Saburtalo Park areas throughout the recent months, which was followed by protests from the local populations and various NGOs.

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