March 23
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The council of elders of the Metsamor community of Armenia’s Armavir Province has decided to donate one of the administrative buildings, the hotel building, and about 2 hectares of land in Margara village to the State Revenue Committee (SRC). In case of the possible re-operation of the Margara checkpoint bordering Turkey, the mentioned buildings and lands will be used for the customs control process, online newspaper of Armenia reports.

The council of elders of the aforesaid community made this decision on Friday, which was based on the writings of the head of the SRC, the governor of Armavir Province, and the recommendation of the head of the community, Vahram Khachatryan. After the council's decision, a donation agreement must be signed between the parties, which is subject to notarization and state registration.

Hetq asked Edgar Hovhannisyan, the first deputy mayor of Metsamor, why the council donated the aforesaid community property to the SRC.

The deputy mayor did not have information about the purpose, and advised to check with the SRC. He only noted that the mentioned buildings and the plots of land serving them used to belong to the state, in recent years they was transferred to the community, and now the state is taking back its property again.

Edgar Hovhannisyan, as a member of the aforementioned council of elders, voted in favor of that decision, not knowing why that communal property was being transferred to the SRC. Twenty members of the council of elders voted in favor of the decision, and none—against.

Hetq tried to find out from the Armavir provincial governor's office what the content of his letter was and why the said property was being transferred to the SRC. The news department informed Hetq that the governor's letter referred to the allocation of land for the construction of buildings for medical organizations providing primary health care services operating in the community's settlements.

In fact, however, these real estates were transferred to the SRC for a completely different purpose, and it has nothing to do with the construction of medical facilities, as they inform from the provincial governor's office.

SRC General Secretary Edgar Gevorgyan, in response to the written inquiry of Hetq, said that in order to ensure the technical part of the possible re-operation of the Margara border checkpoint in Armavir Province, the SRC petitioned to the Metsamor community council with a request to transfer to the SRC the real estates and land that are considered the property of the community.

"The above-mentioned real estate is planned to be used in the event of a possible re-operation of the checkpoint to carry out the customs control process," said the response provided by the General Secretary of the SRC.

Margara village of Armenia is about 500 meters away from Alican village in Turkey. The two countries are separated there only by the Araks River, and they are connected by a bridge built on it.

This February, humanitarian aid was sent from Armenia to the residents affected by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey. The trucks carrying this aid crossed the Armenian-Turkish border through the Margara-Alican section, i.e. through the Margara checkpoint.

What are the real estates transferred to SRC?

According to the information available in the Cadastre Committee of Armenia, the ownership rights of real estates and plots of land transferred to the SRC still belong to the Metsamor community. In other words, state registration of the property has not yet been carried out on the basis of a donation contract.

The administrative building has two floors. Before the closure of the Armenian-Turkish border, it was a checkpoint. It was built in the Soviet years, in 1964. The internal surface area of this building is 1,329 square meters, and the degree of its completion is 80 percent or more.

It is located near the Armenian-Turkish checkpoint, on the bank of the Araks River. It is in the neutral zone—inside the barbed wire where the entry of ordinary citizens is prohibited.

The roof with an area of 462.2 square meters, the warehouse of 186.1 square meters, and the land area of 0.83 hectares were also transferred to SRC.

The pumping station with an area of 238.4 square meters and the land area of 0.083 hectares were also donated.

As for the hotel building, it has three floors. It is located in front of the administrative building transferred to the SRC—and again inside the aforesaid barbed wire.

The building has an area of 1,056 square meters. The 23.5-square-meter pumping station and the 25-square-meter water pumping tower serving the hotel building were also transferred to the SRC. This building was also built in 1964. More than 80 percent of it is completed, and only its water tower is unfinished.

Also, this hotel building has 1 hectare of land, which was also transferred to the SRC.

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