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AZG Armenian Daily #095, 26/05/2005

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LARGE-SCALE URBAN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMS ARE BEING CARRIED OUT IN YEREVAN

Monuments to Be Removed

The structure of the urban construction council was enlarged, including NGOs, so that the latter can participate in taking decisions or prevent implementation of those they struggled against for years. Samvel Danielian, chief architect of Yerevan, said about this.

They have already specified the main layout of the Main Avenue. The architects had to decide all the details concerning the height and the stories of the building that are envisaged to be built in the circle of Amirian, Buzandi and Zakian Streets, so that the new buildings do not hinder the main view of the edifices from the square.

It's still hard to predict anything about the fate of the historical monuments that are situated in the area of the Main Avenue. These edifices are being registered, calculated and evaluated. Separate documents are being composed for each building. Some of them will remain on their spots, while others will be removed to another place.

At the same time, the architects have made a suggestion to gather all the historical edifices in one place. These buildings will represent various layers of Yerevan's historical architecture. Hopefully, this plan will be implemented in the best way. As only mechanical restoration of these edifices will deprive them of their true value. To avert such tragedy, it was decided to leave the buildings of high value on their spots, without removing them.

Besides the Main and the Northern Avenues there are many areas due to construction in Yerevan, such as Kond, Kozern, the neighboring area of Grigor Lousavorcih Avenue and the notorious Firdousi Street. The architects have elaborated the layouts of all these territories. Kond is on the first place and it is not excluded that the architects' board will announce an additional competition for that district not to damage its historical coloring.

By Karine Danielian


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Yerevan Municipality Defends Controversial House Demolitions
6 September, 2005
By Astghik Bedevian

Authorities in Yerevan defended their handling of the ongoing controversial redevelopment of the city center on Tuesday as police cleared street barricades set up by owners of old houses subject to demolition.

About a dozen families resisting eviction from one the capital's oldest neighborhoods blocked on Friday the roads leading to their homes with stones and other heavy objects. They say financial compensation offered to them by the government makes up a fraction of the market value of their real estate. Residents of neighboring old quarters and representatives of non-governmental organizations and opposition parties held a sit-in there in a show of solidarity with the protesters were joined on Monday.

Regular and special police units moved into the rapidly disappearing Buzand Street on Tuesday and faced no resistance as they dismantled the barricades. Police officers could still been seen at the scene in the evening. But the protesting residents said they will not leave their homes.

This and adjacent areas stand in the way of two new streets that are being built in downtown Yerevan by private investors. Expensive high-rise buildings are already emerging in place of the mostly old and modest houses.

Karen Davtian, an official at the Yerevan municipality overseeing the massive construction, defended the integrity and fairness of the process. `People have too high expectations which we can not meet,' he told a news conference.

Davtian claimed that only 5 percent of residents affected by the redevelopment are unhappy with the amount of compensation which he put at between $800 and $1,000 per square meter.

However, Buzand Street residents insist that they have been offered less than half of that and can not buy decent apartments in other parts of the city. They also say other families have received their cash only several months after vacating their property.

`I have received no such complaints,' countered Davtian.

The official also said that the authorities will succeed in persuading the protesters to leave their houses. `We won't throw them out,' he said. `We will negotiate and they will get out.'

(Photolur photo)


CAMP INSTEAD OF BARRICADES

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| 17:32:56 | 06-09-2005 | Social |

Today at 9 a.m. policemen pulled down the barricades at Byuzand Street. They met no resistance as the street residents were afraid of arrests.

Last evening at about 7 p.m. policemen arrived at Byuzand street. However, seeing a crowd they retired. Maybe they refrained from rough actions because pictures of Robert Kocharian were stuck to the walls to be pulled down.

To note, today the residents of Buzand Street sent an appeal to Mayor of Yerevan Yervand Zakharyan. The appeal said that a camp for children will open between Abovyan and Zakiyan Streets. The Mayor has not granted permission yet, however the residents have already started preparatory works.


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Take 2: Waving White Flags, Protesting Homeowners Try To Deliver Their Letter To President

epress.am 01.31.2012

Homeowners promised apartments in the new buildings constructed on Aram, Buzand, Yekmalyan and Saryan streets were out again demonstrating on the corner of Baghramyan and Demirchyan streets - this time, they came waving white flags in the hope that this might catch the president's attention as he drives by on his way to work.

"After yesterday's unsuccessful attempt, we came more prepared today.

The white flags attached to our umbrellas perhaps will draw attention and the president will notice us," one participant, Sona Maghakyan, told Epress.am.

Seeing the president's motorcade, demonstrators waved their white flags and the letter they want to give to him personally, shouting "President, answer!" However, like yesterday, so too today, the motorcade drove past without stopping.

Later, Aida Asatryan, head of the desk for receiving citizens, proposals, appeals and claims at the president's office, approached demonstrators and urged them to give their letter to her, but they refused.

"No way - we trust no one and we don't want to give a letter through an intermediary. This is the umpteenth time we've delivered a letter and have not received an answer, neither written nor verbal. If today [assistant to the president Armen] Abelyan troubles himself to come down [i.e. outside], I'll give him the letter," said Maghakyan.

Recall, yesterday demonstrators refused to hand over the letter to Abelyan when he approached them.

Later, demonstrators moved from the intersection to across the street from the president's office, where they were approached by Armen Abelyan. They spoke, after which the homeowners asked him to personally deliver their letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

Abelyan assured demonstrators that the president was aware of their concerns and has instructed the Presidential Oversight (Control) Service to look into resolving the matter.

The homeowners objected, requesting a meeting with the president personally; however, Abelyan assured them that Oversight Service staff will contact them in the coming days to schedule a meeting.

Recall, in 2006, the residents (whose apartments were recognized as public priority interest) agreed to leave their homes on the condition that they would be given apartments in the new buildings to be constructed on the same site. For this they signed an agreement with a developer by the name of Gagik Papoyan, but the residents still haven't received their new apartments - in fact, the units have been resold to third parties.

Late last year, Armenia's Special Investigation Service (SIS) launched a criminal case against Papoyan, but he cannot be found. The homeowners say the SIS informed them that that the case could take months as hundreds of people have to be questioned in connection with the case.


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