Karapetyan Calls to Prosecute Prosecute Printing House Pulprits

Scene from the meeting on Nov. 1 in Yerevan (Photo: gov.am)
Scene from the meeting on Nov. 1 (Photo: gov.am)

Scene from the meeting on Nov. 1 in Yerevan (Photo: gov.am)

YEREVAN—Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan called a consultative meeting to discuss the irregularities committed during the explosion of Building B at Republic Street-65 in Yerevan (the former printing house), according to the Armenian government’s press service.

Karapetyan said that the dismantling of the building caused objective and subjective dissatisfaction among the public, especially in the residents of nearby houses.

“This is not a test field. This is not a military training ground, either. In fact, it seems that anyone can do whatever he thinks best in this city. How come people made a decision to dismantle a facility by exploding it? Who should notify and who was supposed to inform the public?” Karapetyan said.

The Head of Government was told that Astoria-Invest JSC, the owner of the building of the former printing house was granted permission from the Yerevan Municipality in July 2016 to build a hotel complex on the given site. Prior to that, the company was allowed by the municipality to dismantle the building, which was implemented by the method of detonation without proper notification of competent authorities, in breach of the provisions of paragraph 94 of Government Resolution 291-N, which provides that “a Form 9-compliant passport has to be filed before implementing detonation work at any facility.”

This means that the company was supposed to notify the Ministry of Emergency Situations of all those safety arrangements aimed at ensuring safe evacuation of people, but the developer has failed to comply with this requirement.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister called for a “most severe punishment against those responsible.”

“First, the developer or the owner should have notified the relevant community authorities that the building was going to be dismantled by explosion. We need to understand what sanctions have to be applied in order to enforce the most severe punishment against them. Second, the licensed entity that has carried out the dismantling was supposed to officially notify the population, but failed to do so and, therefore, the most severe punishment will have to be applied against that entity,” Karapetyan said.

He also instructed the Minister of Emergency Situations Armen Yeritsyan to call to account the relevant head of department of the Ministry for shortcomings in work. Karapetyan emphasized that incidences like that should be ruled out ahead.

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