The inhabitants of the municipality of Nowe Miasto are fighting for their homes. They call on the CPK to change the route

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The municipality of Nowe Miasto is crossed by a new high-speed line. One of the proposed options runs through the center of the municipality and the houses along the route would have to be demolished. The residents do not hide their nervousness and seek help.

The municipality of Nowe Miasto is crossed by a new high-speed line. The contractor of the technical, economic and environmental studies for the construction of railway lines: No. 85 Sieradz – Pleszew and No. 86 Pleszew – Poznań presented 8 variants of the railway track. Half of them went to the next stage of investment planning. The residents made no secret of their excitement when they learned “by word of mouth” that the most clashing variant No. 4, which crosses the center and the most urbanized part of the municipality, was moving to the next phase.

Houses on the railway in the municipality of Nowe Miasto are being demolished

We remind you that at the end of June the municipality published a map with variants of the route of the new railway. Of the three other variants, there was also one that both the local government and residents strongly protested. It has to pass through Boguszyn, Utrata, Kolniczki, Chwalęcin, Michałów and Kruczynek, among others. There were many buildings, including residential, along the course. The residents are devastated because the houses that Option 4 collides with would have to be demolished if this route were approved.

“We grew up in this house, we went to primary school in Kolniczki, and when we studied in Pozna, each of us always spent every free moment in this cozy, quiet and beautiful place” – writes one of the inhabitants of Kolniczki in a letter she sent to the editors of Gazeta. Many such letters arrived at our editorial office. It just shows how anxious and determined the residents are to fight for their homes.

According to the maps, option IV is next to my building plot in Boguszyn, which I bought on November 16, 2020 to build a house” – we read in the next letter. – “For 22 years I have been renting an apartment in Teresa, owned by the agricultural agency of the state treasury, whose manager was the housing cooperative in Chocicza. Unfortunately, I did not have the required creditworthiness to purchase this apartment. […] Currently I live in Poznań, where I work, but I will be retiring in a year and renting apartments will become more expensive. I bought this lot with hard-earned money so as not to become homeless. […] Unfortunately, according to variant IV, I have to get rid of this plot. Let me mention that our generation is on strike for a better future, for a free fatherland, we worked in the era of deep unemployment with no pay, we lacked bread, shoes and books for children. I got a second profession to have a job, and now when I reach retirement age with a disability I take my last dream for a peaceful old age in my own home“.

CPK in Nowe Miasto. The investor responds:

At the end of June, the municipality of Nowe Miasto sent questions to the Central Communication Port to get answers to the residents’ biggest doubts. The officials asked whether it was possible to completely eliminate the STH route in variant 4 at this stage of the works.

The answer from Sławomir Kanik – Director of the Implementation Office of the Railway Sub-Programme was:

“The aim of the current Phase II STEŚ is the analysis of 4 variants of the railway routing, which will answer the questions about the social, environmental, technical and economic conditions of the implementation of each variant. The pre-design documentation phase is characterized by the need for a multivariate analysis, resulting both from the requirements set by the Regional Director for Environmental Protection and the institutions responsible for financing the investment. Information about social protests related to a particular variant is also an important conclusion from the analyzes performed, which allows to better justify the choice of the optimal route of the railway, which is accompanied by the greatest benefits for society. Therefore, in view of the objection of the inhabitants of the municipality of Nowe Miasto nad Wartą, we would like to inform you that the methodology of the implementation of the technical-economic-environmental study also requires analyzes for variant No. 4, together with the presentation of the negative consequences reported by residents.”

Kanik adds that avoiding collisions with option 4 will be difficult. However, this option will be re-verified in terms of limiting the negative impact on housing construction.

Residents are concerned because there is no precise information about how many homes are at risk and when the decision on the variant will be made.

“The number of demolition works for individual variants will be able to be estimated after completion of a full multi-criteria analysis and completion of the task by the STEŚ contractor, ie in the first quarter of 2023” – we read.

Among the plots where variant 4 of the railway would pass, there is also one on which a house is under construction. The owners currently live with their children in a small studio apartment. The new house had to be a dream come true. However, due to the planned high-speed lines, they do not know what to do now.

“Before we started building, we had to tear down the old, unusable, mushroom-infested house. It cost us a lot of time, work and money. […] Now we do not know whether to proceed with construction or wait for you (CPK – editor’s note) with a decision “- they wrote.

Some buildings are in danger of not being demolished, but the line is being constructed in the immediate vicinity, which is also a concern for residents. The tracks near the house significantly increase the attractiveness of the property, and the compensation paid in such situations also raises a lot of doubt.

“Real estate near the investment, both at the stage of implementation (construction) and after launch (operation), should not be exposed to negative effects,” explains Sławomir Kanik. “If the ecological assessment or the environmental impact assessment of the project, the public participation, the environmental protection and environmental impact assessments or the analysis after implementation shows that, despite the use of available technical, technological and organizational solutions, the environmental quality standards outside the site may investments are not met, incl. the communication route, an area of ​​limited use is created. As part of the above, countervailing measures are introduced, which are paid at the request of rightholders“.

CPK representatives at the session of Nowe Miasto . Municipality

On July 18, an extraordinary session took place at GOK in Nowe Miasto, during which the concerned residents had the opportunity to talk with representatives of STH: Bartosz Guszczak, project coordinator, Michał Kmiecik, a specialist in environmental relations, and Paulina Socha and BBF (contractors from the Technical Study Economics and Environment for the construction of the railway): Krzysztof Smardzewski who deals with social dialogue, Sebastian Piątkowski, consultant in the railway industry. The discussion lasted about three hours, but the residents were not satisfied with it.

The representatives of the investors emphasized that they were still a long way from the end of the work and that they could not answer many questions, especially for the most difficult residents. It is not yet known exactly which plots are threatened and which variant is most likely.

– What we show now may change. What we will show at the consultation meetings in September will be closer to the final result – said Krzysztof Smardzewski.

The residents asked, among other things: if the final variant is selected by STH, it is possible to reconsider it at their request.

– Yes, it is possible to refer to it as part of environmental procedures – the representatives of the CPK replied.

Deputy Mayor Wiesław Schreiber asked whether legal aid on the part of the investor was provided for residents who could be expropriated from their homes.

– For today I can assure you that each of the residents affected by this investment will have a dedicated person to whom they can call and get all the information about their rights, will have their guardian at every stage – the representatives assured.

The municipality of Nowe Miasto does not give in in the case of the CPK

– To the extent that we can influence the decision-makers who determine the route of the high-speed line through our municipality, we only support those variants that are collision-free, ie those in the eastern part of the municipality – assures Wiesław Schreiber, the deputy mayor of the municipality of Nowe Miasto. – If another conflict variant has arisen, it will still be opposed by us and the residents.

The most favorable option, which will depend on the results of the talks in September, will be announced in the first quarter of next year.

What do you think of the case? Write in the comments.

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