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Bulgaria Environment Minister Blocks Illegal Construction in Rila Mountain

Source: Sofia News Agency (
Published Date: 09 Aug 2008

Bulgaria's Minister of Environment Dzhevdet Chakurov blocked Saturday the realization of the new Detailed Organization Plan of the Sapareva Banya Municipality because it allowed certain encroachments into the Rila Mountain National Park.

The new Plan, which has been approved by the town council of Sapareva Banya, was in violation of the Protected Territories Act, and of Rila's status as a national park.

It included state-owned plots with forests near the Panichishte mountain resort into the areas, where construction was allowed.

Minister Chakurov has issued an order for the removal of the respective territory of the Rila National Park from the organization plan of the Sapareva Banya Municipality.

In the recent months the town of Sapareva Banya has seen counter-protests by local land owners against the rallies organized by environmentalists all over Bulgaria in order to oppose plans for the expansion of the Panichishte resort into the Rila National Park.