China; railway; MÁV; expropriation; Budapest-Belgrade railway; Ministry of Construction and Transport;
In the meantime, the costs are rising steadily.
Due to the “change in the technical content”, the government decree on the development of the Budapest-Belgrade railway would be amended. According to the proposal put forward for social consultation by the Ministry of Construction and Transport last Friday, the realization of the railway construction, which is considered a priority investment from the point of view of the national economy, requires the expropriation of new properties. We do not know more than this from the justification and the impact assessment sheet. The latter only adds that the government has already provided the resources to finance the land acquisition tasks and that the personnel and material conditions necessary for the measure are available. It also turns out that this amendment is by no means the last one, as another change will be required in 2024 when the export plans for the northern section of the development are finalized.
The current amendment basically includes the insertion of a new paragraph and the expansion of the annex listing the properties affected by the investment. The latter lists more than a thousand properties that are necessary for the implementation of the investment. Almost half of the areas to be expropriated are located in Budapest in the IX, XX. and mostly XXIII. district.
Taksony was already on the previous list. Julianna Berecz, asset management director of MÁV Zrt. – the cabinet entrusted the “acquisition” of the properties to the railway company – just in Taksony reassured the stakeholders at a previous public forum on railway development in Kelebia by saying that the state will eventually buy only a part of the properties on the list. But now it seems that even more is needed.
“In 2021, the Railway Authority Department approved the licensing plans of the consortium responsible for the implementation of the project for the affected line section. Based on this, the properties whose acquisition was partially or fully necessary for the benefit of the Hungarian state became known. On the basis of the conditional expropriation plans handed over by the contractor to MÁV Zrt., the railway company on the Kelebia-Soroksár section
– the Ministry of Construction and Transport answered the questions of Népszava.
To the question whether the new, large number of expropriations became necessary due to the modification of the railway track, the ministry replied: “at the level of construction planning, territorial needs appeared that were not yet visible when the authorization plan was drawn up – overhead line possibility of placing support columns, construction of additional noise protection wall, planning of related roads, etc. -“. They then added: the new land acquisition requirements also apply to properties that were not previously affected by expropriation, as well as to properties that were partially affected in the past. The land acquisition procedure for additional areas – as in the case of expropriations that have already taken place – “will be carried out in the same form”. (The MÁV entrusted the expropriation procedures to the Juharos law firm in the previous round. The firm’s owner is Róbert Juharos, former Fidesz member of parliament and current municipal representative of Józsefváros.)
“MÁV Zrt. continuously initiates land acquisition procedures on the basis of the expropriation change outline drawings provided by the contractor,” the ÉKM announced now. First, a letter is sent to the affected property owners, and then a legal expert is appointed, who prepares a preliminary expert opinion within 60 days, in which he determines the amount of compensation to be paid for the property (part) to be expropriated.
Based on previous procedures, they cannot expect much good.
The property owner who is not satisfied with the offered price can request the appointment of a new expert, but he has to pay the cost of this in advance (roughly HUF 300,000) and in the end he will only get the money back if the new expert opinion is accepted by the government office and a decision is made on reimbursement. If not, then in the procedure the office will determine the same price as the one recommended by the lawyer. But it doesn’t change much if the second expert opinion is about a larger amount than the first one, since it depends on the government office which one to accept. If the government office decides in favor of a higher compensation amount, MÁV can challenge the decision in court. The owner of the property can also sue, but this does not stop the expropriation.
“The cost and deadline of the track modernization is not affected by the additional acquisition”, answered our question from the Ministry of Education and Culture. In any case, the government ordered additional funds for the development of railway line 150 in September. For the northern, Ferencváros–Soroksár section