‘Summation debates’ – In Romny, people fear that the floodplain of the Sula River will be given over to private properties

"Сумські дебати"

Residents of the city of Romny fear that land in the floodplain of the Sula River, which runs through the city, will be divided into private properties. The owner of the land says he received the land legally according to the decision of the city council.

Resident Romain Giorgiy quickly points to the shore of Sula, where economic activities take place. According to him, this land was ceded to a local entrepreneur.

“It’s the floodplain of the Sula River, which was built by this man, and has already been appropriated. We think this appropriation is illegal, we need to check all the legal documents,” he says.

Another Romanian – Oleksandr Sergienko – says that where the reeds grew, soil was brought with construction waste.

“As the Sula overflows – it is filled with water, we used to go to the river to fish, there were paths from here. I appealed to the city council, called the service environment in Kyiv: where did they measure from, where is the shore? They told me there: the stakes must be driven in, everything must be approved by the city council. these pegs, where is the coastal zone?” – asks the man.

The man we met on this site was called Oleksandr Kovtun. He showed an extract from the national register of real estate rights, which indicates that in October 2021, the session of the city council of Rome granted him this land for gardening. That’s why he set out to restore order here: mow the reeds and cover the territory with earth.

Serhii Fedyna is a deputy in the regional council, which runs a freestyle wrestling section for children on the banks of the Sula in summer. He says he doubts gardens will ever flourish on this site. “This area is protected by nature, I personally looked at the city map and it is there, if I am not mistaken, it belongs to the P-2 area, which cannot be used for the horticulture as private property,” he said. adds.

According to the list of territorial zones, P-2 is a recreational zone for active recreation. When asked why land was allocated for horticulture in the coastal area and why construction waste is brought there, the Mayor of Rome, Oleh Stogniy, said that he did not personally allocate the land, but let the city council take care of this. “What was washed up on the shore of Sula – we will sort it out, and we will also sort out who took it away,” he said.

In Romny, Sumy Oblast, residents fear the Sula floodplain will be ceded to private property
According to the legislation, economic activity in the coastal protection zone is prohibited, says Olena Vakarchuk, deputy director of the regional water resources office.

“Sula is a medium river. In accordance with the requirements of river legislation, it has a protective coastal strip of 50 meters. But, taking into account the slopes, and this is the left bank of the Sula, it is generally more high, that is, the slope of the coastline must be taken into account, if it exceeds 3ᵒ, this is stipulated by the legislation, the coastal protection strip is doubled,” she said.

The official advises residents to contact an independent surveyor who can conclude that the land in question is part of the coastal protection strip, and if this is confirmed, contact the town hall.

In Romny, Sumy Oblast, residents fear the Sula floodplain will be ceded to private property
“If they fail to meet the requirements of the land and water legislation with respect to the water land fund, then of course they are obliged to rescind their decision,” he said. she declared.

Olena Vakarchuk says that according to data from their office, the number of small rivers in Sumy Oblast has decreased by 5 times over the past 15 years, which has also affected the water level of medium-sized rivers, such as Sula, Psel, Seim, and Vorskla. They associate this phenomenon, in particular, with irresponsible economic activity.

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