Gov’t Okays Dispossession Changes for Road Construction Processes

Stock photo by TASR

Bratislava, May 10 (TASR) – Some construction-related works will be legally allowed on lands where future highways and roads are to be built even before they are dispossessed, according to an amendment to the Act on One-Off Extraordinary Measures in Preparation for the Construction of Some Highways and Roads approved by the Government on Wednesday.

Parliament is scheduled to deliberate on the bill, designed to come into effect as of May 15, in a fast-tracked procedure.

The legislation, sponsored by Transport and Construction Minister Arpad Ersek (Most-Hid), is aimed to streamline the issuing of permits and construction processes of selected highways and roads, while “maintaining appropriate options for all affected land owners to defend their interests”.

Under the amended legislation, a new legal institute of ‘preliminary possession’ will enable the carrying out of certain reversible works on the land to the extent necessary before the conclusion of the time-consuming dispossession process.

According to the Transport and Construction Ministry, the ‘preliminary possession’ institute in no way modifies the terms of dispossession. The new legislation is designed to find a workaround to the purpose-built blocking of dispossession proceedings by land and building owners, who “acquired ownership out of speculative reasons” in an effort to profit economically from hindering construction permits with an eye towards re-selling the land at the highest price possible.

In the past week, minister Ersek conceded problems with the buyout of plots of land where the future Bratislava bypass, made up of the D4 highway and the R7 expressway, is to be built. Ersek pointed out that speculators wanted to make the largest possible profits out of the land sales. “There were some savvy people who knew where to buy land [acting on information about the route of the planned bypass – ed.note],” he claimed about the problematic plots of land near Ketelec and the place where the D4 highway meets the D1 highway. Ersek then announced that the issue would be dealt with at the Government and Parliament level.