The Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt replied to the interpellation concerning the additional purchase of lands on the eastern border (No. 411), submitted by members of the Riigikogu Andres Herkel, Artur Talvik, Külliki Kübarsepp, Krista Aru, Jüri Adams, Andres Ammas, Monika Haukanõmm and Ain Lutsepp on 17 January.
The interpellators referred to the fact that the intention of the Ministry of the Interior to expand the border strip needed for the construction of the eastern border to the extent of 10 more metres and to begin the purchase of lands from owners again had become public on 5 January. The interpellators wished to know what the weighty reasons were for performing an additional purchase of lands.
Anvelt explained that, in the course of the design work, two test sections to the extent of 3.2 kilometres had been constructed, on which monitoring and guarding equipment had been installed in the same way as it would be on the whole border in the future. The elements to be constructed on the border strip will be a border post, an animal fence, an enclosure, a footprint strip, various bridges, foot bridges, and a technical monitoring and guarding system. „Yes, the existing ten-metre border strip is planned to be expanded to up to – I say “up to”, because it depends on the natural environment on the location – 40 metres,” the Minister of the Interior noted. In his words, lands would be purchased by strips of up to 30 metres in the direction of inland. Strips with a maximum width of 30 metres will be purchased as a general rule only when the relevant area is covered in forest, in particular to prevent trees from falling on the infrastructure. In the case of arable lands under cultivation, for example, the existing 10-metre cutoff may also be considered.
Anvelt said that around 470,000 had been spent in total, of which 348,000 accounted for transactions and 121,000 accounted for costs related to the transactions, that is, evaluation, surveying and notary services. A total of 939,757 has been planned for the acquisition of lands. At the same time, a wider border strip will directly help save construction costs to the extent of nearly 900,000 euro, because there will be room on the construction site and it will be possible to perform several construction works at the same time, to store construction materials and to keep equipment there. Besides, this will bring better visibility, and a potential saving on monitoring equipment as well as on the maintenance of the border strip later.
Anvelt explained that they communicated and negotiated with the owners of the lands on the border, and informed them. “Yes, this is inconvenient, but, at the same time, so far the transfer of lands has taken place by agreement of the parties. The owners generally understand that the construction of the state border is indispensable. If anything, they complain about the low market price of the land in the region, but to compensate for it, we will pay a compensation of 1000 euro, to supplement the market values of the land and forest units that will be cut off, to all land owners, and we will of course bear all costs related to the transaction,” the Minister of the Interior explained. Anvelt said that administration costs accounted for one fourth of the expenses planned for the transfer of lands, that is, 230 000. The transfer of lands is hoped to be completed during this year.
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