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Citizens of Tbilisi against planned construction works in the capital

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, June 8
Residents from the Isani and Avlabari districts held a rally in the square on Ketevan Tsamebuli Avenue on June 6. They protested the planned construction of a six-storey hotel in the square, right above so-called Gogilo Abano.

The area where the hotel is to be built is the historic part of old Tbilisi, where there is a statue of King Parnavaz.

The protesters demand the abolition of the hotel construction project and require the preservation of the park. They say that the problem is the planned construction works in the park will destroy the historical appearance of the city.

The independent MP Aleko Elisashvili expressed his concern about the upcoming construction works.

He said that he checked the information in the Architecture Service of the capital and he was told that The Culture Council has approved the project and is going to issue the permission of the planned construction.

“A six-storey hotel to be built directly in the square is astonishing news," said Elisashvili.

The Deputy Governor of the Isani district, Teimuraz Chochua, said that the Mayor’s Office is studying the issue.

“After the issue is studied, Tbilisi City Hall will take necessary steps to solve this problem,” he said.

The Mayor’s Office says that the land where the hotel will be built is not the area of the square. They stated that the construction is permitted and does not distort the image of this district.

Another rally, SOS Tbilisi, was held in the capital on June 6.

The organizers of the rally requested the abolition of planned constructions of buildings at the expense of the destruction of green cover and to stop the distortion of the historical centre.

The rally was attended by various non-governmental organizations, nature defenders, architects and citizens, who marched from the City Hall to Abanotubani.

They also demand that the public and experts who were involved in the decision-making process concerning the capital to ensure that the solutions are not anti-social.

Art expert Marine Mizandari says that the cultural heritage of the city is decaying rapidly.

“We are witnessing the construction of absolutely inappropriate and very damaging projects which are planned in the historical areas of the city,” she said.

Cultural expert Tsira Elisashvili stressed that the protesters are not against new construction in the city, they are against miscalculated and unreasonable constructions in the historic parts of the capital.

The Free Democrats (FD) also supported the rally. The General Secretary of the FD Aleksi Petriashvili noted that the Mayor’s Office has neither a development plan nor any strategy.

“We all remember that before the elections Davit Narmania promised that there would not be any unreasonable constructions, the destruction of public spaces or the cutting down the trees, but he did not keep his promise,” Petriashvili stressed.

The Mayor’s office said that the current and planned construction works do not affect the historical appearance of the capital.