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UNM claims power plant to be built in Tbilisi Botanical Gardens

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 9
According to the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party , the construction of a power plant is planned on the territory of Tbilisi's Botanical Gardens.

The information was released by the UNM on June 8 at a press-conference held in the Botanical Gardens. UNM members say they have documents which show that that former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvil, who owns territory adjacent to the Botanic Garden, is going to build his own source of electricity.

Nika Melia, a member of the UNM, stated that along with the power plant, a dam will also be constructed.

Melia says that Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze signed a memorandum with Tsavkisi LTD in 2015, the company responsible for the construction, which is also owned by Ivanishvili. Melia demands explanations from Kaladze and Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania.

“Kaladze signed a memorandum with Tsavkisi Hess and on the basis of this agreement the company applied to the Mayor’s Office asking for the territory mentioned in the contract,” Melia stated.

The UNM explains that building the power plant is in interests of Ivanishvili only, because there are no buildings around the Botanic Gardens except for Ivanishvili’s residence.

According to the document revealed by the opposition party, the 250 kilowatts capacity power plant will be built on the territory of Botanic Garden, just below the Ivanishvili’s residence. The UNM says the Mayor’s Office has already discussed the issue; however, a final decision has not been made yet.

Mayor Davit Narmania accused the opposition of spreading lies and said that City Hall has not discussed any such issue.

"The Botanical Gardens and the surrounding area are being developed and any types of restrictions or activities unacceptable for society will not take place," said Narmania.

On May 3, 29 hectares of territory adjacent to Tbilisi Botanic Garden, across which Krtsanisi-Shindisi road is under construction at the moment, was auctioned off and sold for 6,326,495 GEL and the only participant of the auction was the Georgian Co-investment Fund, set up by Ivanishvili. The sold area is adjacent to 10-hectares of land owned by the ex-PM.