TALLINN – All land parcels necessary for the construction of Rail Baltic in Estonia are expected to become property of the state by 2022, Anvar Salomets, technical chief at Rail Baltic Estonia, said on Thursday.
Salomets said that acquisition of land continues in all the three countries that the railway will pass through and agreements have been reached with 110 landowners. Of the land parcels 73 percent will be purchased for cash in line with the wish of the owner, in the case of 16 percent land readjustment will be conducted, while in 11 percent of cases a swap of immovables will take place.
"It makes sense to buy land parcels in the places where the exact locations of the track or associated infrastructure have been set out. Designing is underway, and the more definitive the route becomes the bigger the circle of landowners that we are negotiating with becomes," Salomets said in a press release, adding that the state is not buying land just in case.
"Some landowners we will reach only next year or the year after next; under plans, necessary land should become property of the state by 2022," Salomets said.
He explained that right now land is being acquired in places where the route of the track has been determined or where large individual objects, such viaducts or wildlife crossings are to be situated whose construction is to start in the coming couple of years.
Under current plans, the railway will affect 911 land units in Estonia, or which 651 belong to private owners and 78 to municipalities. The remaining 182 are pieces of land already owned by the state from which the land necessary for the railway has to be separated.
These figures may change in time depending on different factors. Most of the properties to be acquired are designated as profit yielding land and are situated in low population density areas.
Merje Krinal, departmental head at the Land Board, said that the Land Board has reached agreement with 110 landowners and has concluded agreements with over 40 of them. Based on the negotiations to date, 73 percent of the owners want their land to be bought for cash, in which case an extra amounting to 20 percent of the value of the property in most cases is paid to the seller.
With regard to 16 percent of the properties land readjustment will be conducted and in 11 percent of cases a swap of properties will be used.
Negotiations are underway at the moment in the Kohila, Rapla, and Kehtna municipalities of Rapla County, in Pohja-Parnumaa and Tori municipalities of Parnu County, and in Saku municipality of Harju County. In Latvia and Lithuania work on Rail Baltic is in the main line design phase just like in Estonia, and also the construction of the first objects has started or is about to start.