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Too many cooks spoiled the broth

 

MyLand - 30/09/2010:

 

On September 24, 2010 Olexandre Medvedko, Attorney General of Ukraine, held a meeting of the Collegium of the Office of Attorney General of Ukraine. The meeting was focused situation in land relations. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Service for fighting organized crime, State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources, State Committee of Ukraine on Water Management, State Committee of Ukraine on Forestry, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Defense, State Environmental Inspection, State Inspection for Control Over Use and Protection of Land.

It was stated that the situation of protection and use of land is still very difficult. Violation of land legislation took a system scale. The most violation are committed by of state executive bodies and bodies of local self-governance in the process of allocation of land in lease and ownership; there are also numerous violations in respect of reimbursement of losses of agricultural and forestry production (ML: this losses are reimbursed when agricultural land or forest land is taken for non-agricultural or non-forestry uses. Reimbursement is paid by those persons who were endowed with respective parcels). Unauthorized land capture and contamination of soil are also among the most wide-spread violations.
Due to inaction of state bodies of control and executive bodies the boundaries of land of nature reserves, water fund, of historical and cultural sites, of lands of forestry use have not been demarcated in kind. Lands of state and municipal ownership are yet to be separated and demarcated; land inventory and appraisal of land are also not completed.

State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources failed to secure due control over use and protection of land. The Committee has not developed and put into operation unified automated system of state land cadastre despite allocations of necessary funds. On many occasions the Committee illegally issued licenses for land surveying and land appraisal works.

Because of irresponsibility of the management of the State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources 18 heads of Oblast Departments of the Committee were fired; the State Inspection for Control Over use and Protection of Land as a governmental organ was wound up. As a result, the inspection work during the last year was hardly done. Only petty instances of illegal land capture were revealed.
Weak control within the system of the State Committee of Ukraine on land Resources entailed numerous instances of illegal and ill-founded issue of approvals of land surveying documents, land titles, positive conclusions of state expertise of land surveying documents. Officials of the Committee with a purpose of personal enrichment commit crimes of forgery and issue forged documents confirming land rights. Only in 2010 there were 7 criminal cases of forgery and bribery submitted to consideration of courts.
The state control over use and protection of land has not been ensured by the Ministry of Environmental Protection as well. Nevertheless, management of the Ministry ignored this meeting. Deputy Minister Mr Tomakhin (ML: recently – deputy head of the State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources) was invited to attend this meeting but he did not appear without sufficient reasons.
The lack of state control in land relations led to the situation when local executive organs and local bodies of self-governance issue illegal decisions on allocation and privatization of state-owned land. Local offices of public prosecutors managed to strike down over 5 thousand such decisions.
Nevertheless, the said organs and bodies are illegally allocating to private ownership lands of nature reserves and of cultural and historical sites. Over the last years the area of land of health-improvement and recreational use has decreased. This kind of violation is the most wide-spread in Crimea and the city of Kyiv.
Due to inaction of the State Committee of Ukraine ion Forestry the land inventory of forest lands has not been completed; state forestry enterprises are using forest lands without duly issued and registered land titles and therefore these lands are often falling victim of illegal withdrawal and conversion into lands of other categories. These lands in Kyiv Oblast, city of Kyiv and city of Sevastopol are often taken from use of state forestry enterprises and allocated to private persons for housing purposes.
The State Committee of Ukraine on Water management failed to ensure demarcation in kind of the boundaries of coastal water-protection stripes along rivers and around lakes. There is no control over use of land bordering water objects; as a result, these lands are allocated for development (ML: if the boundary of water-protecting zone is not demarcated in kind, there is formally no water-protection zone. Thus the land which according to the Land Code of Ukraine may be allocated and use for the only purpose – to serve as a water-protection zone – are being allocated for building villas and different manors. No doubt there are good grounds for crimes of bribery, forgery and abuse of power). Seizure of water fund land took dangerous scale in Kyiv and Cherkasy Oblasts.
The Ministry of Defense failed to secure due control over land in use of its departments and military units. There have been no land inventory and land titling. The gap between records of the Ministry of Defense and the State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources is over 100 thousand ha. Under the pretence of building housing for officers land of the Ministry is being taken over by commercial companies for purposes not related to solving housing problem of the armed forces of Ukraine.
The same is observed in respect of the lands of transport. The Ministry of transport and communications facilitated violations due to its failure to title its land and to secure control over use of its land according to their purpose; these lands are often illegally taken from the Ministry and its subordinates. There are also numerous instances of unauthorized construction on these lands.
In 2010 public prosecutors of Ukraine initiated 521 criminal cases, submitted protests in respect of over 6000 illegal decisions on land issues (over 5000 decisions were reversed); 3000 officials were brought to different types of responsibility. Public prosecutors prevented illegal alienation of 26400 hectares of state-owned land; 3100 hectares were returned to the state.
 

Source: web-site of the Office of Attorney General of Ukraine, 2010

Translation: MyLand, 2010

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