Perhaps no two buildings in Prague need more than the completion of the City and Prague ring roads. But it seems that the start of these constructions will shift by another year with each passing year. Disputes between Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who cannot find common ground, contribute to this. In the same way, the last round of their negotiations on cooperation between Prague and the state has ended – a failure.
Due to the first part of the City Ring Road, workers dug into the ground as early as 1978, when they laid the foundations of the Barrandov Bridge. By the way, the busiest piece of road in the whole Czech Republic. Even the first section of the outer or Prague ring road was still ceremoniously opened by communist leaders – in September 1983 between Sliven and the D5 motorway to Pilsen.
After forty years, however, none of them is completed. The Prague ring road is not even half finished, and although a third of the Municipal Ring Road remains to be completed, it is the most expensive part with an overview;
Both constructions are hampered by disputes, slow preparation and Prague and national politicians, who open their doors at the town halls and always come up with their own domestic situation. And the same is true today, when two men probably sign the fate of both buildings the most – Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES).
Let’s start with the City, ie the inner ring road. The last of the two men’s talks about his fate had recently gone bankrupt. According to the findings of Aktuálně.cz, it is about three weeks since Prime Minister Babiš rejected the draft memorandum on cooperation between Prague and the state. He left Hřib’s office and had property relations between the metropolis and the Czech Republic, including the financing of the City Circuit.
Nevertheless, this documentary hit hard at the premiere. Babiš did not like what Prague demanded of him, nor that, according to him, the memorandum lacks guarantees that the metropolis will keep its part of the agreement. However, he was particularly annoyed that Prague seemed to have forgotten that the Prime Minister wanted to build a government district on the outskirts of Prague.
“The memorandum also does not contain any of the fundamental requirements of the Czech Republic, ie the transfer of urban land in the vicinity of the Letňany metro station to the state. year of the year.
Prague lacks money to complete the circuit
The city circuit should, simply put, vacuum tens of thousands of cars from the larger city center and drop them as close as possible to where the drivers wish to drive. As a result, breathing should be better in Prague and the traditional morning and afternoon columns should be shortened. But in the east of the city, the circuit is not complete, and drivers still make a short journey through the city through streets that are not built for it.
Prague is preparing the completion of the circuit itself and would not have to argue about it with anyone else, if we omit the city districts and the local opposition. After all, last year the new coalition presented a revised design of the circuit, which sent this whole road almost into tunnels. What’s more, last week Prague launched the first exploratory wells and geophysical measurements.
It might seem that everything is going smoothly. The problem, however, is that completing the eastern part of the City Ring Road will not be cheap. According to rough estimates so far, the revised circuit design will cost 80 to 90 billion crowns, which is difficult to imagine – about twice as expensive as the Blanka tunnel, to which it is to connect a new section in Troja.
In approximately the same period of time, Prague also wants to build metro D, which will cost at least another 70 billion crowns. However, in total, Prague does not have over 150 billion for both of these constructions on its account – it barely has half, and it also needs to invest money in a number of other things than the metro and the ring road. That is why there is talk at the Prague City Hall that even if the metropolis is in debt like never before, at least one of these projects cannot pay for itself.
Therefore, especially larger Prague politicians disappeared at every step, the need for the state in Prague to help with the circuit. Similar to that in Brno, where it finances the construction of the Great City Ring Road. Adam Scheinherr, the mayor’s deputy for transport, is also aware that this will be difficult without a government injection. When asked if the city is ready to pay for the circuit itself, he will answer only austerely: “We anticipate that the state will participate in this important investment.”
But so far it is more a pious wish than a reality. A fairly substantial piece was added to the whole jigsaw puzzle about a year and a half ago by Prime Minister Babiš, when he revived the plan to build a so-called government district in Letňany, Prague. However, in order to build headquarters for more than ten thousand officials, he would need to acquire land owned by the city.
“We will contribute to the circuit, but we want Letňany”
The team started arguing between Hřib, who does not like the administrative and official concept of the new district, and Babiš, who wants to build his dream project in Letňany. This often fierce tug-of-war has been going on for almost a year, and at least from the prime minister’s last rejection letter, it does not seem that one of the men is ready to retreat.
At the same time, Babiš himself admits in the letter that the state has found the budget from the Generation on the Municipal Circuit in the budget, if he wanted it a little. “I offered you that in the event of a comprehensive agreement, the state could have an impact on financing the construction of the City Ring Road,” the prime minister specifically wrote in the letter. However, it is clear that he envisages the agreement differently from the mayor of Prague.
Especially with regard to the already mentioned Letňany. In the draft memoranda, Hřib only cautiously suggests that the city cooperate with the state in the development of this territory. “The Letňany area can be used for housing as well as for administrative, commercial and other special functions or services,” writes the mayor, adding that the potential of the whole locality is great and its use may also include part of the administration for certain parts of the Czech Republic. “. He then states that it is better to have the door open for all possibilities. Not a word about the transfer of state land, which requires a prime minister, nowhere.
According to Babiš’s answers, this is probably the main reason why he rejected the memorandum. However, other requirements of Prague, which she set out in the document, also played a role. Mushroom’s memorandum was far from just about the circuit and the government district. The mayor proposes a number of changes in the document, which in some cases would require a rewriting of the law.
For example, it wants to completely change the way in which such assets are valued when exchanging assets between the Czech Republic and Prague. Today, it is simply that when the state buys something, it buys it by law for a so-called administrative price, but when it transfers property to someone else, it does so at the usual price, in other words the market price. And the administrative price is usually lower than the market price.
However, by law, the city buys and sells at the usual price, and thus exchanging anything between Prague and the state is very unusual. Exceptions to the law may be approved by the Ministry of Finance, but according to Prague, this prolongs the already long process of exchanging assets.
“This change must really happen, because in the last shifts Prague lost tens of millions of crowns,” in the past Hřib and in the document recommend that the property in the village must have previously available to the city or village to buy and only then offer it to other parties .
“On behalf of Prague, we offered the Prime Minister cooperation in a number of topics related to long-term planned property shifts, including a call for a joint solution to the deplorable situation with the Bulovka Hospital by exchanging Prague property with the state. letter refused, “summarizes the latest developments in the situation Mushroom.
For the time being, the metropolis can probably only dream that the government would somehow get into the exchange of property that Prague wants to acquire. As well as the fact that the government would contribute tens of billions to the inner circle.
Do not block the Prague bypass, Babiš thunder
However, the city ring is not essential, where cooperation between cities and the government is stagnant and delays the start of construction. Similarly cold relations prevail in the negotiations on the Prague Ring Road.
“I ask you not to block the Prague bypass,” Prime Minister Babiš lamented recently in the Chamber of Deputies towards the pirate deputies. He did not like how Prague had progressed in the purchase of land for the eastern part of the outer ring road between Běchovice and the D1 motorway.
Although the Prague Ring Road is being built by the Directorate of Roads and Motorways (ŘSD), ie a state organization, the city agreed with the government in another memorandum to buy land in the vicinity of the ring road at its own expense. Stripes of greenery should appear on them, which should distinguish the highway from the surroundings.
But this document has been in the files signed for almost a year and a half, and Prague has not bought a single square meter to this day. “Work on their purchases began last year and we expect the results in terms of land results this year,” says Scheinherr now. Last year, however, he claimed that the city should have its first plots at the beginning of this year.
According to him, however, throughout last year, Prague and the ŘSD were arguing over how to do this so that both parties could buy land together. “So that the owners do not have to negotiate with the representatives of the municipality and then especially the ŘSD. For me it was a hard collision with the speed of decision-making of national apparatuses.
Nevertheless, no progress has been made with the purchase of land, and part of the problem lies in the fact that the owner will receive a very interesting offer for his land from ŘSD, next to which the one from the Prague municipality seems to be trivial. And that is what the Prime Minister is criticizing. “When ŘSD buys the land for 1,500 crowns, it is not possible for Prague to buy it for two hundred. The mushroom signed a memorandum, so please do not block the Prague bypass,” the prime minister instructed the pirate deputies.
But Prague can blame the fact that they can’t give their owners more money for the land. This is because the bypasses of Prague are actually being built on those bought by ŘSD – that is, according to the law, a public benefit building for which land can be expropriated. However, this must mean that the RSD may, by law, demand a much better price, which is up to eight times higher than what owners would receive on the regular market.
“But green belts are not a public benefit construction, so the belts will be bought at a price said by a forensic expert. They have been enforced by the city district and are beyond the scope of the construction itself, so we cannot buy or expropriate them according to the law. In other words, the field is bought for the price of the field, “primarily Scheinherr.
Even so, according to him, negotiations with the owners continue promisingly, although Prague has not yet bought anything, and the whole process is said to be delayed by constant exchanges of bosses not only at the Ministry of Transport.
“The directors of the RSD change, the transport ministers change and these changes always stop the whole process completely. The officers always have to wait for the new management to agree with the previous procedure and want to get it,” says Scheinherr. He adds, however, that about thirty percent of the necessary land is already owned by Prague from the past.
In any case, the time to buy land is slowly shortening. The beginning of the construction of the section 511 between Běchovice and D1 is not far away, at least in the scale of large infrastructure constructions. According to the ŘSD, the builders should kick the ground at Běchovice for the first time at the end of 2022.
However, it is not advisable to rely on similar terms for the Prague ring road. Three quarters of a year ago, for example, former Minister of Transport Vladimír Kremlík (for YES) stubbornly claimed that construction was beginning this year. In the end, however, he had to withdraw his words and blame the official, who he said had wrongly applied for a zoning decision.