Residents forced to give up land for UB road project

The expansion of a 4.6 kilometer road from Revolutionists’ Street (Khuvisgalchidiin Gudamj) to the new terminus of Zuragt and the Bayankhoshuu intersection is currently delayed due to residents’ reluctance to vacate their lands.

Structures being taken down

In May, Express Zam began the expansion of the previously seven meter wide road to a fourteen meter wide road with 2.5 meter wide sidewalks of on both sides. Though the company finished paving the first 2.5 kilometers of the road and opened it prior to Naadam Festival, further expansion work was hindered due to some residents’ reluctance to vacate their lands. The expansion of the road, which was built in the 1980s and has not undergone renovation since, is expected to be finished by October.

The fences and land belonging to 156 households covers a lane of the prospective road. The properties, partially or wholly, will have to be vacated in order to have a wider road. Accordingly, notices to vacate land has been delivered to residents. Presently, as the road work continues, some residents are vacating their land and demolishing their houses and fences. Some residents advocate the expansion, which will not only repair the now bumpy road, but also expand the Ulaanbaatar road network and reduce traffic congestion.

A resident of the sixth khoroo of Songinokhairkhan district, T.Barkhas, said that though it was hard to suddenly vacate his land after living there for ten years, he did not linger, for it’s said that development follows roads. Following the majority, his family started to pull down their house and vacate their lands. He commented, “The valuation of my real estate and land was not as high as I expected, but I ought to vacate my land. My family owned a carpentry factory and a two-story house. We also used to operate a grocery store and a rental apartment. It was very unfortunate to demolish all of this. Even though we were regretful, we were the first household to accept the proposal and vacate 183 square meters of our land without hindering the work by demanding to have our land revaluated and get more money. But some residents are inconsiderate. We intend to build a new house on our remaining land.”

Refusing to vacate his land until getting what he feels his land is worth, B.Sangi, resident of the same khoroo, said, “I’m ready to vacate my land for money. I have no other property than this land. I will become homeless if I give up my land. I demanded seventy million MNT from the City Office for Property Relations, which is the cost of a single room apartment. But the office refused. Thus we agreed to sell half of my land for 50 million MNT. But the order to vacate has not been issued yet. If I get the money I agreed to, I will build a ger on my remaining land and live there. My family owns 245 square meters of land. The land I’m giving was valued to be worth three million MNT according to state assessment. Including my house, the total value stood at 24 million MNT. However, I had the land valued by a private company, and the total value was 38 million MNT. Adding 12 million MNT to the assessment, I decided to claim 50 million MNT. I’m ready to vacate my land if the office gives me the money I asked for.”

However, relevant authorities plan to forcefully evict the residents who hinder the project in such a manner.

Ten households yet to vacate

Below is an interview with a senior specialist at the City Office for Property Relations, E.Enkhtulga, on the road expansion process.

How many households have not vacated their lands?

Revolutionists’ Street is a huge street that stretches through three districts, namely Songinokhairkhan district, Chingeltei district and Bayangol district. A new 4.6 kilometer road has undergone expansion since May 1. Out of 156 residents and entities whose real estate covers the prospective road, 146 have vacated their lands. Ten households who are selfish and unaware of their social responsibility demanded more than market value for their lands and refused to leave.

How much money has been spent on the expansion project?

Seven billion MNT from the city budget has been spent so far.

When will the remaining residents’ lands be vacated?

We met the residents two to three times and informed them of the real value of their properties. However, the residents speak of the significance of the location of their lands and its market value in response. We cannot give residents the amount of money they ask for when they demand more money than their properties are worth. The Property Movement and Privatization Department of the City Office for Property Relations estimates the value of real estate. After the value is estimated, we negotiate with residents in accordance with the Land Law. In doing so, we make sure the the value is accurate in conformity with relevant laws. The amount of compensation provided for a household who does not own real estate or lives in a ger is low. Residents have the right to have their property revaluated by another organization if they think the value we estimated is not accurate. Some residents who doubt the value we estimated come to us with a value estimated by another organization. We scrutinize the value presented. Currently, no resident has appealed to the courts arguing that their property was inaccurately valued. We plan to negotiate with the ten residents and have their lands vacated by August 20.

If giving more money than market value is impossible, how will the dispute be settled?

The expansion must be complete by October 1 according to the contract. The land vacating regulation was approved by Ulaanbaatar citizens; the Representatives Council calls for eviction if a resident doesn’t respect public interests. We won’t push the residents for immediate vacating of their properties. We informed them several times of the market value of their properties and how much money the state can give. We also mentioned the possibility of relocation. But they refused. In case we run into an impasse, we are preparing to evict them. Prior to eviction, we will deliver notice of eviction in case they don’t vacate their lands within appointed time.

Is enough compensation being provided to residents to build a new house?

Residents pull down their houses brick by brick in order to save the bricks that are reusable. The compensation is enough to build a new house of the same size. So, residents can immediately pull down their fences and build a new house before winter comes. However, these residents are not satisfied with the compensation, claiming “we could have sold our land at a higher price since it’s located near a road.” It would be highly appreciated if the residents actively participate in this city construction project and contribute. In addition, some residents will leave their land without pulling down their houses if we give them all the money they’ve demanded at once. So, in order to prevent this, we give them 60 percent as an advance and agreed to give them the rest after they start to pull down their houses, based on inspections and photo evidence taken by our specialists.

Source: http://www.mongolnews.mn/i/54044



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