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Polish ultracatholic government is building a road through primeval forest

Transpolska | 02.11.2006 12:50

In Poland the new extreme-right government has begun the procedure of constuction of the new Via Baltica road. Pimeval forest of outstanding beuty is endangered. Why exactly this route was chosen among so manyu other possibilities.

Picture by Wlodzimierz Lapinski
Picture by Wlodzimierz Lapinski

In the first step of the Via Baltica corridor the by-pass of Augustów through the Rospuda Valley will be built. Currently it is the the most controversial transport investment project in the whole Europe. How it is possible, that despite there being other routes possible, all both less costly and less damaging for the environment, that a route was chosen, that goes through the Primeval Forest, one of the very few remaining in Europe! The Via Baltica will be constructed through the wetlands in the stunning Rospuda Valley, a refuge for a number of extremely rare species of animals, some on the brink of extinction, and plants as well as habitats. How it is possible to choose from other possible options a by-pass which goes exactly through the only one protected area in the vicinity? As part of the European Natura 2000 Network, the Rospuda Valley is a protected area.

I was trying to obtain access to the formal documents concerning this investment, such as the multicriteria analysis, as I intended to analyse the whole transport appraisal process that took place, the results of transport appraisal for the 4 routes proposed, along with the results of public inquiry for this transport investment and the feedback from the groups concerned.

As a transport economist, I could not understand, why the longer route was proposed for Via Baltica. If You look on the map, You will notice with astonishment, that Augustów is in fact not in the correct direction. If You look at the result of the traffic count, You also note that most of the traffic in the Via Baltica corridor goes through Łomża and not through Białystok, where the bypass is built.

I wanted to prepare a report on this issue, that would also try analyse other possible route locations proposed recently and compare their economic and environmental impact. Unfortunatelly, the data is hidden, I asssume that there is a lot of lie in these documents, if they exist at all (I doubt it, I suspect that the environmental analysis was not done at all, because if it did, then the most environment-desctuctive variant of the scheme would not have been further analysed and never would be put to realisation).

I ask to react as this investment is being currently made. Until the 18th of November there is a time to look at the documents and contest the decision on the construction of the bypass through the valley, of which a picture is presented.

Summing up, the route via the valley was chosen among all other possible passages, all of which were not as dangerous for the nature as this one. In my opinion no one simply did any environmental assesment or anything of this kind. Such an investment is, according to the people who specialise in transport investment appraisal, competely against all the rules of the EU law on transport investment appraisal.


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Display the following 3 comments

  1. an eco crime — crookwatch
  2. mankind at its best — medzenman
  3. religion? — gg