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Land owners' rights curbed to allow for highway construction

The governing coalition has enacted a measure curbing the ownership rights of owners of forest land on which highways are to be built. It passed an amending proposal on May 21 proposed by Smer party deputy Peter Pelegrini under which it will not be necessary to get the approval of owners or administrators of forest land in order to change its function to allow highway construction. However, compensation or reimbursement for restriction of ownership rights must be provided. The Pelegrini proposal indirectly amends the controversial bill of Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny (Smer-SD), which was intended to accelerate the construction of highways. Parliament approved the bill, which introduces one-off extraordinary measures to accelerate construction of some highways and dual-carriageways, at the end of last year. Vážny outlined simpler expropriation of land plots for future highway construction.

The governing coalition has enacted a measure curbing the ownership rights of owners of forest land on which highways are to be built. It passed an amending proposal on May 21 proposed by Smer party deputy Peter Pelegrini under which it will not be necessary to get the approval of owners or administrators of forest land in order to change its function to allow highway construction. However, compensation or reimbursement for restriction of ownership rights must be provided. The Pelegrini proposal indirectly amends the controversial bill of Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny (Smer-SD), which was intended to accelerate the construction of highways. Parliament approved the bill, which introduces one-off extraordinary measures to accelerate construction of some highways and dual-carriageways, at the end of last year. Vážny outlined simpler expropriation of land plots for future highway construction.

According to the bill, it would not be necessary to obtain proprietary rights to land plots in order to proceed with construction. Instead, it would be enough to obtain ownership rights to the land within the final approval procedure for an already-built highway. The minister admitted at the time that sharper measures were needed in order to meet the 2010 deadline for completion of the highway connection between Bratislava and Košice. The president signed the bill into law even though the opposition warned that it may contravene the constitution. The opposition then filed a motion requesting that the Constitutional Court issue a preliminary injunction suspending the effectiveness of corresponding provisions in the law. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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