The Rail Baltica Act

LATVIA – Saeima Press Service  (20/10/2022)

According to Saeima Press Service on Thursday, 20 October, the Saeima adopted the Rail Baltica Act  in its third and final reading, in order to ensure the construction of the European standard gauge high-speed rail infrastructure and eliminate obstacles to the timely completion of construction in accordance with the allocated funding.

Timely Rail Baltica project implementation is delayed due to requirements set out in technical and special provisions requested by state and municipal institutions as well as external owners or rights holders of the utilities.

The Rail Baltica Act
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The Act stipulates that the technical or special regulations to be issued for the implementation of a project shall not include requirements relating to the construction of buildings or parts thereof, unless the obligation to construct such buildings or parts thereof follows from regulations and does not comply with the conditions of applicability of the financing to be used to implement the project. This regulation shall not apply to technical regulations issued by the State Environmental Protection Service.

In the case of cultural monuments, if full or partial preservation of a cultural monument at its current location is not possible and the monument meets certain predetermined criteria, the Cabinet of Ministers will remove it from the list of state-protected cultural monuments.

The Department of National Heritage sets the conditions for the examination, preparation and relocation of the cultural monument concerned, or for the removal and preservation of its most valuable parts or fragments.

Cutting down protected trees in the area designated for the Rail Baltica project and its associated buildings is also allowed, if there are no alternative solutions. In this case, a positive opinion of an arborist as well as permission from the Nature Conservation Agency must be obtained.

The topographical plan prepared for the design of public railway infrastructure and structures associated with its construction will have a validity of four years from the date of registration at the local government database. It is established that eight years is the maximum construction period associated with the project until the building is commissioned.

«Immovable property recognised as immovable property without an applicant but with creditor claims, if the bailiff no longer carries out expropriation in accordance with certain cases stipulated in the relevant laws and regulations, will be transferred to the Ministry of Transport. It is envisaged that the ministry will also be able to use undeveloped public land property from the reserve fund as compensation for the expropriation of private property for public purposes», as stated by the law.

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