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Interview with Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania

By Messenger Staff
Monday, December 22
Editor in chief of The Messenger, Zaza Gachechiladze met Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania and asked him questions concerning the environment in the city.

The newspaper has an interest concerning the greenery of Tbilisi, air pollution caused by traffic, the architectural planning of the city and the disappearance of the electricity-run public transport.

“I agree that the environmental situation in the capital requires serious attention. The city municipality joined the agreement between world cities on regulating CO2 levels in the air and keeping it at the required minimum. Therefore, we plan to plant up to 1 million trees in the city and the outside area and thus to improve the eco climate of Tbilisi. According to this commitment, we have already started planting trees (around 100,000 pieces) in the parks and yards of the kindergartens and other appropriate places. We plan to continue with these efforts and further increase the areas of greenery. We already have a plan for the following 3 years on how to improve the greenery in Tbilisi. Certainly, the environmental conditions of the city are being caused by the constant traffic.

Tbilisi creates unfavorable conditions for alleviating the city from the pollution, which is produced by the increased number of vehicles running in the city.

We plan to carry out professional research on how to avoid traffic jams and organize municipal transport service relying on the recommendations of the responsible institutions. Accordingly, we are going to improve the infrastructure in the city to make the transportation of citizens easier.

It is planned to install 2 cable routs in Tbilisi. One from Rustaveli Avenue up to Mtatsminda, and another from metro station Samgori to Vazisubani district.

Apart from this, we are currently cooperating with EBRD on a project, which should allow us to substitute public transport, with ecologically friendly vehicles.”

Narmania also mentioned that his office is planning together with the appropriate state institutions to find out the best solution for arranging public transport in the city, also managing the distribution work in the city so that the vehicles involved in the distribution activities should carry out their work in the narrow streets of Tbilisi in the late hours only to prevent additional traffic jams.

“The process of technical checks of vehicles should be carried out very carefully. It concerns in particular taxi drivers, as they provide their families with the only income they received from offering taxi service to citizens,” Narmania said, replying to the question on whether Georgia will introduce the obligatory vehicle technical check in 2016. The mayor pointed put that on one hand, the vehicles should be compatible with the necessary technical standards and on the other hand, the city municipality should not hamper taxi drivers from doing their jobs, as it can turn into a serious social problem.

Answering the question on C.T. Park (the company responsible for arranging parking lots in the city) activities, the mayor mentioned that there are many complaint from citizens about this organization.

“The contract under which the company carries out its activities is a fettering agreement. It does not consider the interests of the city. We are currently cooperating with Ernst & Young to study the contract between the city municipality and C.T Park.”

One more issue the Mayor pointed out in the interview concerns pedestrians, who experience problems in moving freely in the city, as the sidewalks are mostly occupied by vehicles, due to the lack of parking and other advantages the pedestrians should have. Narmania said the problem would be addressed as soon as possible.

According to the Mayor, his office plans to create a special board, which will include experts from various fields, including architecture, environmental and cultural studies, social workers and others. The mayor’s office will receive recommendations from the board on various issues in order to improve the environmental conditions in the city.