Mashtots Standoff: Protestors defiant, but city says developer has permission

Mashtots Standoff: Protestors defiant, but city says developer has permission


The standoff between developers and environmental activists in Mashtots Park became more tense today as for the second day protestors blocked the entry of a concrete mixer onto the area where, the activists say, illegal construction is going on.

For a week, a group of activists has been protesting the re-location of kiosks removed from Abovyan Street two weeks ago and replaced in the popular park.

Activists of “We are the Owners of Our City” and “Our City” initiatives, as well as representatives of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, Heritage Party lawmakers Zaruhi Postanjyan and Stepan Safaryan continue fighting against the construction works in the park under cold weather conditions, drinking tea and coffee in a sit-in in the park from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The activists met a Yerevan municipality representative today, who presented urban development documents, which allow holding construction works in the territory of the park.

However, the protestors insist that the work approved by the document does not correspond to the norms of urban development.

“Trees are like hostages just half a meter away from the construction site, whereas, according to urban development norms, a construction site must be at least five meters from trees. As of now this is an illegal construction, and we demand to halt it,” says Heritage Party lawmaker Zaruhi Postanjyan.

Yerevan municipality says in 2004 it gave the Kentron Greenery Planting Company a license to do construction that included a provision that allows for replacing installations such as the kiosks from Abovyan Street.