Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and Environment (RERI) said on Tuesday that the Belgrade Administrative Court ruled the works on the building of a gondola within the Kalemegdan Fortress should stop until the legality of the licence for preparatory works issued by the Ministry of Construction was checked.
The court said the continuation of the works would have “irrecoverable consequences for the cultural heritage such as Kalemegdan Fortress and the environment as well, RERI said on its website.”
The only Belgrade municipality held by the opposition, Stari Grad and its residents will appreciate the verdict after they have already protested against the building of gondola and have said will prevent the works “with our bodies.”
A part of Serbia’s opposition filed on Tuesday an initiative with the Constitutional Court for its review of the Detailed Plan for the building of gondola. The 25 opposition MPs said the whole project was illegal.
"The fortress of Kalemegdan, also known as “the Belgrade fortress was built from the 2nd to the 18th century, destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, the fort has become the symbol of the city.
The Romans had built the first fortification in the 2nd century, and later it was home to the Roman legion IV Flaviae which protected the area. It suffered devastation by Goths, Huns, Avars and Slavs,” serbia.com website said.
However, the current City authorities led by President Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) decided to build a gondola which for they had already cut some trees what made residents to launch a protest.
The pillars that would hold the air tramcar were planned to be 30-40 metres high, while above the River Sava the gondola would be 20 metres above waters. The route from Kalemegdan to the New Belgrade part of the city should be one kilometre long.
The cost of the works was estimated at 15 million Euros, with the Ministry of Tourism providing the two-thirds of the sum, and the rest would come from the city budget.
RERI on Tuesday said the Administrative Court decision to stop the works on gondola “proves that the rule of law in Serbia still exists and the legal fight for the environment and public interest brings results.”
The Institute called on all relevant institutions, especially the ministries of construction, tourism, City of Belgrade and others “to respect the law and stop the works on building the gondola which is damaging to the public interest.”
The Ministry of Construction issued a permit on April 1 for preparatory works in the area of the Belgrade Fortress and the archaeological site “Ancient Singidunum” at Kalemegdan Park which would include the digging and placing concrete pillars.