Saakashvili's Dream City will ruin Colchis
The NGO "Caucasian Network for Environmental Protection" spoke out against the construction of Lasika, idea of which was proposed by the President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili. In its statement the NGO said that the construction of a new city and the countryside between Anaklia and Kulevi at the Black Sea shore is threatening Colchis National Park. It is also located at a specified section of the Black Sea shore, according to news agency "Gruzinform". Executive Director of the "Caucasian Network for Environmental Protection" Nana Janashia asserts that the moorland between Anaklia and Kulevi is protected by Ramsar Convention, which means that any construction in this area is strictly prohibited. According to the experts, the destruction of wetlands in this zone will cause irreparable damage to the local ecosphere.
Meanwhile, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is not going to abandon the idea of building a new town, so to speak, from scratch. "In the next 10 years in this city there will live at least half a million people, and in terms of population it will become the second city in Georgia after Tbilisi. It will be a marine, economic and commercial center in western Georgia" the leader of the republic said, adding that the construction work will begin next year, after negotiations with foreign investors.
"The name "Lasika" is not accidental; it is based on historical fact. It will be a new trade-economic and commercial center not only in western Georgia, but throughout the country. This will be a modern city, which is already being designed. This is a ten-year plan. We have no illusions that the city will be built in one day or one year. Major infrastructure works will be carried out in 2012-2013 and in 2015 the authorities want the part of the city to be built", the spokesperson of the president Manana Manjgaladze explained.