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Controversies About the Master Plan of Tbilisi

By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Thursday, March 29
On 27 March, Tbilisi city hall organized public discussion about Tbilisi Land Use Master Plan. The City Hall presented remarks about the project and criticized organization "City Institute" author of the master plan. The position of City Hall was unacceptable for representatives of City Institute and they left the meeting, stated that the authorities of Tbilisi City Hall don't understand what the General Plan means.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the opposition parties who openly criticized the city government, which eventually turned into a conflict between government officials and the opposition, and the session was disrupted.

Kakha Kukava, a former mayoral candidate, said that this topic can lead to ending Kaladze's political career: "Kaladze should know that if Narmania's political career as a Mayor of Tbilisi has ended because of "City Park" issue, his career as a Mayor, will be ended because of the issue of Tbilisi master plan," said Kukava.

Another former mayoral candidate, Aleksandre Elisashvili stated, there is no logical argument, why the City Hall of Tbilisi, refuses to adopt the master plan document: I haven't heard even one logical argument, why the City Hall of Tbilisi doesn't accept the master plan. They are just looking for reasons to refuse adoption of this document and continue chaotic constructions in Tbilisi. For example, according to the master plan, it should be categorically forbidden to build a new building at Zhvania street, but despite these recommendations, Kaladze is building new living blocks there," Elisashvili said.

Representative of European Georgia, Elene Khoshtaria call this meeting the trial of authors of master plan: Ive been invited here to take part in a discussion about master plan of Tbilisi. I came with a naive interest to at last find out what is this master plan. Instead of this, I appeared at the trial process of a group of master plan authors. We attended a controversy between City Hall of Tbilisi and the organization they hired.

Rusudan Mirzikashvili, the representative of the Tbilisi City Hall, spoke about the alternatives of the master plan of Tbilisi: I cant speak about the action plan we are working on, but this plan is working out and soon will be presented. This concerns the introduction of specific regulations. This means, that the concern of the large part of society, that Tbilisi will have problems without the master plan is groundless," said Rusudan Mirzikashvili

Refusal of the master plan document is already the second fact when current authorities of Tbilisi City Hall refuses to accept a service as a result of the agreement signed by the previous government of Tbilisi. There have been a lot of discussions the master plans topic. Let's now discuss this issue with a different angle. In the given case, there are three sides:

- The population who fill the state budget with their own taxes, of which more than 800 million GEL is transferred annually to Tbilisi City Hall budget;

- Tbilisi City Hall, whose main function is to properly distribute the budget;

- A private or state organization, which gets an order to provide specific services and therefore the money from the budget.

The question arises: what will happen if a customer (in this case City Hall) is not satisfied with the service performed by the hired organization? When government already paid money, but can't get a result? Who is responsible for the wasted resources from the budget?

2,8 million GEL has been spent for the master plan project.