Armenia to build new village from the scratch

For the first time in the history of the third Republic of , a new village will be built from scratch. The decision was approved at the cabinet meeting today.

The Government gave a green light to the Action Plan for Acquisition and Resettlement of Lands under the Joint Water Resources Management/Akhuryan River, Phase 1 project.

On December 19, 2014 a loan agreement was signed between the Republic of Armenia and the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW), which, in particular, envisages the implementation of the Construction of Kaps Reservoir and Gravity Irrigation System.

The half-built reservoir is located in Shirak region, in the Akhuryan river valley, 22 km north of . The project includes the stabilization and rehabilitation of the Kaps dam, the construction of a reservoir with a volume of 25 million cubic meters in the first stage, with the possibility of further expansion up to 60 million cubic meters.

The project is of national importance, as the implementation will ensure the sustainable use of the limited water resources of the Akhuryan River in the Shirak region, taking into account the interests of different water users. It will contribute to the sustainable, environmentally sound management of the region’s water resources, the improvement of the environmental situation, as well as the promotion of rural development and the improvement of the living standards of the population.

According to the results of the feasibility study, the first phase of the Kaps Reservoir would flood  4-5 buildings in Jradzor settlement of Amasia community of Shirak region and about 20 plots of different sizes in Aregnadem, Getashen, Marmashen and Jradzor communities.  

Later, during the detailed design phase of the construction of the Kaps Reservoir gravity irrigation system, the consultant carried out a detailed calculation of the slope stability of the Jradzor settlement in the Shirak region, according to which it was assessed as risky from the point of view of landslides. It was concluded that to avoid possible collapses it’s necessary to resettle the Jradzor community, and alienate the affected lands in Aregnadem, Gtashen, Byurakn, Kaps and Hoghmik settlements.

As a result of the decision, it will be possible to start land acquisition and resettlement processes in the affected communities, which will be the basis for signing a construction contract in the future.

According to Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Vache Terteryan, the resettlement of Jradzor should be done in parallel with the implementation of the first stage with state funds. All the properties were fully evaluated by the research. More than 72 households, about 350 inhabitants will be able to relocate to a new place. Residents of Jradzor are inclined to complete resettlement, which, according to preliminary estimates, amounts to 4.9 billion drams.

“The new village should have a modern design, cseparate livestock and residential areas. We will have a new type of settlement, which will harmoniously complement the tourism potential of the region, ”said Vache Terteryan.

After 10 months of design work, the project of the new settlement will be presented, after which the construction tender-construction process will start.

Referring to the decision, Prime Minister  Nikol Pashinyan noted that this will be the first case in the history of the third republic of Armenia when a village is being built from scratch. “This program is important not only for the people of Jradzor, but also for concretizing our ideas about the Armenian village of the 21st century. And, in fact, we can also give some solutions to the big urban development problems that we have, so that the settlement can be established and developed exclusively according to the established urban development rules and be a model for the further process of organizing our rural life.”

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