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What to learn from the Tbilisi flood tragedy?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 17
It will take much time and effort until Tbilisi recovers from the troubles caused by the flooding of the River Vere. Meanwhile there is new information concerning landslides in Bagebi, central Tbilisi, that poses new threats for locals.

As the President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated following the disaster, ravines must not cause catastrophes in developed cities.

The President stressed that the main source of such tragedies is the ignorance of professionals in the during the construction process.

The large-scale flooding in the capital triggered many questions.

According to geomorphologic Merab Gongadze, there are several landslide risk zones in Tbilisi.

Mtatsminda slopes, Lotkini, areas near the Sarajishvili metro, Mukhatgverdi slopes are all among territories at risk.

With regards to the recent tragedy, Gongadze stresses that the previous government paid no attention to studies and locked the river in two tubes.

“It was unacceptable. A huge collector should be constructed where the water would flow freely,” Gongadze states, adding that the collector under the Heroes' Square would be in poor condition as it has not been cleaned for years.

“When we speak about landslides when the process is launched it is very hard to suspend it. Permanent control and monitoring is necessary in such areas,” Gongadze states.

During the flooding, asphalt was cracked down on central streets of Melikishvili and Tchavtchavadze.

Specialists believes that this was caused by the poor canalization system that was built during the Soviet era.

They also highlight that the central territory of the capital, especially Tchavtchavadze Avenue, is a landslide zone and the building of blocks of flats is too dangerous there.

Urbanist Niko Kakhetelidze states that the construction and architecture fields are out of regulations that causes serious threats.

He says that under the previous government, for achieving fast development, developers were freed from multiple obligations.

“There are no strict regulations or demand on deep analyses before starting the construction process,” Kakhetelidze says.

He believes that the current government must change the approach or the capital will be under serious threat in the near future.

It is very possible that the current government will shift the blame onto the previous leadership for their unreasonable policies. However, the Georgian Dream coalition took office in 2012 and they also could have taken measures against the landslide threats or chaotic construction projects in Tbilisi.

It is very regrettable that each government starts deep discussions of such problems when tragedies take place that claim innocent lives.