Changes have been made to the controversial $500 million Tbilisi Panorama project. A rope-way station connecting the central part of Tbilisi to highland infrastructure will no longer be built on Erekle square. The status of the landscape-recreation zone might be changed and removed from the Sololaki hill as well.
Tbilisi Panorama project suspended
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, December 31
The project is being funded by the Co-Investment Fund (GCF), which is a private equity fund created on the initiative of former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. It envisages the construction of four multi-functional areas with a total investment of $500 million in the old part of Tbilisi.
Initially, the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office discussed the status change for Sololaki for launching work there and sent its conclusion to the Sakrebulo, which is obliged to make a decision over the issue.
However, environmentalists and the opposition have demanded a delay in the discussions and appealed to the city authorities to invite specialists to studying the project.
They also demanded open discussions over the project due to high public interest in terms of Tbilisi Panorama.
The side claims that they have questions regarding the project and want some points to be changed in the initiative.
“We have expressed our displeasure with the cable-way on Erekle Square that would have created traffic-related problems. We have some other remarks that should be discussed with specialists,” one of the environmentalist said.
One of the authors of the project Irakli Karseladze, stated that several changes have already been made in the project, the rejection of the cable-way among them.
According to him the project will only increase tourist and investment in the city and will be beneficial to Tbilisi’s environment, as it is expected that 30,000 trees will be planted during the project.
Minority representative Sevdia Ugrekhelidze states that the project might damage the city’s image.
Independent Deputy of Sakrebulo Aleko Elisashvili thinks that while discussing the project, the majority should forget that it was initiated by Ivanishvili in order to maintain impartiality.