No One Wants to Take the Blame for Friday’s Sewage floods

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  • Eden Bay à Ramlet el-Baïda : une seule solution, la démolition - Raja NOUJAIM - L’Orient-Le Jour

    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1121011/eden-bay-une-seule-solution-la-demolition.html

    Plus d’un an et demi après l’attribution par le mohafez de Beyrouth, Ziad Chbib, du permis de construire à la société Eden Bay Resort SAL sur la parcelle 3689 Moussaitbé, à Ramlet el-Baïda, le scandale perdure. Le promoteur est en passe d’achever l’hôtel et continue d’empiéter illicitement sur les biens publics en édifiant sur le sable un grand escalier fixe en béton et pierres ; en aménageant une route vers la plage pour ses véhicules ; et surtout en haussant graduellement le niveau du sol sableux tout le long de son projet, le polluant par le rajout de terre afin de créer des passages… Tout ceci afin de pouvoir réserver le bénéfice exclusif de la plage à l’ouest de son bâtiment à son profit et celui de ses clients éventuels !

    #beyrouth #liban #immobilier #scandale_immobilier #Ramlet_el_Bayda

    • A Ramlet el-Baïda, l’Eden Bay Resort inauguré sur fond de manifestations - Suzanne BAAKLINI - L’Orient-Le Jour
      https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1122651/inauguration-de-leden-bay-resort-sur-fond-de-manifestations.html

      C’était une scène surréaliste hier à Ramlet el-Baïda (plage de sable de Beyrouth). D’un côté le très controversé projet d’Eden Bay Resort inauguré en grande pompe, et de l’autre les militants de plusieurs groupes de la société civile qui manifestaient contre ce complexe touristique construit à même la plage, qu’ils combattent depuis bientôt deux ans. Le groupe de protestataires s’avance très loin sur la plage pour mieux se faire entendre de la foule sur la terrasse, jusqu’à se heurter au « mur » d’agents de l’ordre qui l’empêche d’aller plus loin, malgré sa contestation du fait que la plage forme une continuité indivisible. Bien que les agents aient affirmé que la mesure était « exceptionnelle », en raison de la « célébration » en cours, Ali Darwiche, président de Green Line, assure que « des pêcheurs ont essayé de traverser devant le projet hier (dimanche) et en ont été empêchés par des vigiles sur place ».

    • Le très contesté Lancaster Eden Bay vise un taux d’occupation de plus de 55% cet été

      https://www.lecommercedulevant.com/article/28492-le-tres-conteste-lancaster-eden-bay-vise-un-taux-doccupati

      Inauguré fin juin, l’établissement cinq étoiles bénéficie d’un accès direct à la plage de Ramlet el-Baïda, une localisation, sur l’une des dernières étendues publiques de Beyrouth, qui lui vaut d’être au cœur d’une vaste polémique.

    • Jad Tabet : 80 % de la côte libanaise a été privatisée
      https://www.lecommercedulevant.com/article/28384-jad-tabet-80-de-la-cote-libanaise-a-ete-privatisee

      Plusieurs affaires récentes sont venues rappeler l’appétit des promoteurs immobiliers pour le littoral. Trois projets de développement dans la région de Zouk Mosbeh, Zouk el-Kharab et Damour ont ainsi été approuvés par le Conseil des ministres, malgré leur rejet par le Conseil supérieur de l’urbanisme. En parallèle, à Enfé, l’évêché orthodoxe de Tripoli a lui aussi demandé l’autorisation d’utiliser le domaine public maritime, ranimant les craintes d’un projet de “village touristique” dans l’une des dernières régions préservées du pays. Entretien avec le président de l’ordre des ingénieurs et des architectes de Beyrouth, Jad Tabet, qui suit de près ces dossiers.

    • Itani: Some in municipality culpable in Ramlet al-Baida flooding | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR
      http://www.dailystar.com.lb//News/Lebanon-News/2018/Nov-17/469462-itani-some-in-municipality-culpable-in-ramlet-al-baida-flooding

      The Daily Star

      BEIRUT: Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani Saturday vowed to hold accountable some in the municipality who he said knew that a major sewer and storm drain had been blocked with concrete, but had remained silent about it.

      “There are people who knew and remained silent, or gave permission, and it’s true that nobody could have [poured this concrete] without someone seeing,” Itani said in a live interview on local news channel LBCI Saturday. The mayor Friday had called for an investigation into the matter after the blocked drain caused the main road at Beirut’s Ramlet al-Baida to flood following heavy rainfall.

    • The untouchable hotel | Executive Magazine
      https://www.executive-magazine.com/real-estate-2/the-untouchable-hotel

      While it is widely assumed that Lebanon’s real estate business is rife with unethical dealings, only a few detailed examples of wrongdoing actually come to light. In the case of Eden Bay, a resort situated along Ramlet al-Baida—Beirut’s last public beach—evidence of violations and fraud piled up throughout 2017.

      The disclosures culminated in the form of a report compiled mid-2017 by the president of the Beirut Order of Engineers and Architects (OEA), Jad Tabet. The report alleges eight violations related to Eden Bay and is informed by building documents released by the Municipality of Beirut. The report’s allegations range from the infringement of public property to the forgery of permit application material. As a whole, Tabet’s report portrays a development project for which legal obstacles were fudged or ignored entirely to deliver the lucrative seafront hotel. Public pressure from media coverage, a unified civil society movement, and even lawsuits initiated by NGOs and the environment ministry have not prevented the completion of the hotel.

    • Beirut’s last public beach: residents fear privatisation of Ramlet al-Baida | Cities | The Guardian

      https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/02/beiruts-public-space-last-beach-residents-fear-privatisation-ramlet-al-

      A private development close to Beirut’s last remaining public beach is sparking anger among residents who fear companies will leave nothing for the poor and middle classes – encroaching further into a city that already lacks public space
      Cities is supported by
      Rockefeller Foundation
      About this content

      Alex Dziadosz in Beirut

      Thu 2 Feb 2017 07.15 GMT
      Last modified on Fri 11 May 2018 13.08 BST

      Take a stroll down the golden sands of Ramlet al-Baida, Beirut’s last public beach, and you’ll see families fishing and smoking shisha in ramshackle palm frond cabanas, boys kicking footballs under battered lamp-posts, and children building sandcastles in the waves. It is a rare outlet in a city where public spaces are few and far between. But at the beach’s southern end, the scene abruptly gives way to looming cranes and men in hard hats driving rebars into a rising edifice of concrete.

    • Beirut Destroys the City’s Last Public Beach
      https://www.oroom.org/forum/threads/beirut-destroys-the-city%E2%80%99s-last-public-beach.51610

      The controversy over the ownership of Ramlet El Bayda first made news headlinesback in 2012,and has since been at the center of a tug-of-war between activists, on the one hand, and real estate developers and officials, on the other.

      InJune 2016, government officials denied any speculation about the closure of the beach for real-estate-development purposes, after some of the installations were destroyed by excavators.

      Ziad Chebib, the governor of Beirut, hadsaid:

      The Ramlet El Bayda public beach will not be closed and any form of restricting citizens from accessing the shores, be it for constructional purposes or by erecting fences to close off the area is strictly prohibited.

      In this case, activists have the law on their side. Indeed,“Article 2 of Order 144,” the lawregulating coastalproperties in Lebanon since 1925, stipulates that the seashore until the farthest area reached by the waves during winter as well as sand and rocky shores are considered public property.

      But despite this law,decree changes and loopholeshave allowed more and more development to happen on the Lebanese coast.

      This is not the first case of coastal development in Lebanon happening at the expense of public property. Just recently, activists heldprotestsagainst the government’s plans to transformKfarabida’s rocky beachin the Batroun district in Northern Lebanon to yet another Yacht Club.

      The legality of this project has also been the subject of much controversy, as many rules are being bent by using ministerial decrees to get the project approved. Six months earlier, the issue of theAdlounbeach in South Lebanon was raised by local media outlets. It was reported that the natural coast was being destroyed in order to be replaced by a port worth26.6 million USDand erasing, in the process, a Phoenician port site of high cultural and archeological value. The excavations began with no proper environmental impact assessment prompting a conflict between the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministries of Environment and Culture.

    • No One Wants to Take the Blame for Friday’s Sewage floods | Blog Baladi
      https://blogbaladi.com/no-one-wants-to-take-the-blame-for-fridays-sewage-floods

      Every time it rains in Lebanon, sewer lines are blocked causing floods all over the road but what happened on Friday was a different story. Ramlet el Baida and Bliss streets were flooded by sewage because the main sewer and wastewater drain lines were blocked illegally.

      Beirut Gov. Ziad Chebib rushed to blame Eden Bay and the Ghobeiri municipality but a daily star article revealed that the governor had stopped works to unblock the sewer line a day before. Moreover, almost everyone in Lebanon is aware that this resort has blocked a sewer line for months now yet no actions were taken. Weirdly enough, Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani wasn’t aware of that blockage and had called for an investigation which will probably be forgotten sometime soon.

    • Legal Agenda
      http://legal-agenda.com/en/article.php?id=3647
      http://legal-agenda.com/uploads/1493812554-Page 5 - ruines-achouriennes.png

      Editor’s note: The following article was written prior to the recent ruling on April 11, 2017, in which the State Shura Council reversed its earlier decision that suspended the construction permit of the Eden Bay resort.

      The Eden Bay resort project (commonly known as the Eden Rock resort), situated at the southern tip of Beirut, has been a major topic of interest for public opinion and the Lebanese media. This is certainly due to several factors, namely that it is one of the few cases related to the protection of maritime public property with a positive, even if initial, outcome. Having issued three successive rulings, the judiciary has asserted itself as a weapon of public action against powerful companies and financiers. Not only has the investing company’s ongoing construction work in defiance of judicial orders infuriated many citizens. It has led to significant implications at the judicial level: because of these actions, the case now is not just one about the environment and protecting a beach, but also about the judiciary’s independence and the fight against corruption.

      In this article, I shall reflect on some lessons that the activist community might be able to draw on from this experience.

      Lesson 1: Access to Information is an Essential Part of the Battle to Annul Administrative Decisions

    • Ramlet el Baida : débordement du Privé sur le domaine public maritime - Cynthia BOU AOUN
      https://libnanews.com/ramlet-el-baida-debordement-prive-domaine-public-maritime-cynthia-bou-aou

      Depuis quelques semaines, les travaux d’excavation défigurent la plage de Ramlet el Baida sur la partie à l’extrême sud de la dernière plage publique restante à Beyrouth en vue de la construction d’un autre complexe touristique, l’ « Eden Bay Resort », ce qui suscita une mobilisation des ONG et de la société civile qui considèrent que le site fait partie du domaine public maritime. Le chantier a démarré après que le gouverneur de Beyrouth Ziad Chbib a libéré les parcelles appartenant à la « Société foncière touristique Eden Rock s.a.l » [3689 – 3690 – 3691 – 3692] en juin 2016, qui justifie cette décision hâtive en affirmant qu’il s’agit de « parcelles privées car à l’origine, elles étaient de nature rocheuse mais le sable les a envahit suite à l’interruption des travaux ». Cette décision s’accompagne de la signature du propriétaire d’un engagement à limiter la construction sur 2 bien-fonds [3691 – 3692] à « 1m maximum au-dessus du terrain naturel » [en d’autres termes à ce que la loi de construction permet pour les sous-sols] et à modifier en conséquence le permis de construire de sorte à relocaliser le projet sur la partie nord de la parcelle [3689 – 2390]. Bizarrement, ce permis à été approuvé sur base de cet engagement, avant même de présenter un nouveau dossier de permis modifié !

    • Development of public beaches sparks outrage in Lebanon
      https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/lebanon-public-beach-violations-hotel-tourism.html

      BEIRUT — Lancaster Eden Bay Hotel opened June 25 on Ramlet al-Baida seashore in Beirut, despite all the legal conflicts that occurred with the construction of the project. It had an invalid building permit, and the municipality of Beirut did not grant the hotel an occupancy permit. However, project owner Wissam Achour insisted on opening the hotel as a fait accompli.

      On May 9, Nahnoo — an NGO founded in 2009 that works to protect public property and cultural heritage in Lebanon — published a report b

    • http://lcps-lebanon.org/featuredArticle.php?id=111

      In a public statement last January, Beirut’s mayor reiterated his electoral promise to protect and harness the city’s coast as its most important resource. Yet, nine months after he assumed office, Mr. Itani has yet to make an announcement about how he will address forty illegal buildings that distort and privatize the city’s seafront.[1] In fact, Beirut’s municipal council has so far been publicly unresponsive to activists’ demands, namely that it intervene to stop encroaching development along the coast (and elsewhere). More alarming, the council and its president have remained mute about the Eden Rock/Eden Bay resort saga, the blatantly illegal seven-floor touristic development that was the subject of two decisions from the higher court council (Majlis al-Shura) before the city’s governor—ironically once a judge on the council himself—issued a statement ordering the developer to stop construction.

    • The last public beach in Beirut | 1843
      https://www.1843magazine.com/dispatches/dispatches/the-last-public-beach-in-beirut

      It’s one of the only spaces in Lebanon’s capital where people can mingle for free. But the shadow of private development looms large
      Ellie Violet Bramley | February 4th 2019

      On the afternoon I visit Ramlet al-Bayda beach, a young bride and groom are having their photograph taken. She holds her white dress up carefully, the voluminous skirt hovering a few inches above the sand like a frilly spaceship. Their friends and relatives buzz around them excitedly, playing music from their phones. Other beach-goers sit on plastic chairs close to the water’s edge, chatting, smoking argileh (the Lebanese word for shisha) and taking in the scene. Nearby, children are making the most of a seesaw and swings.

    • Beirut Municipality Removing Violations on #Ramlet_el_Bayda Beach | Blog Baladi
      https://blogbaladi.com/beirut-municipality-removing-violations-on-ramlet-el-bayda-beach

      It’s hard to mention violations on Ramlet el Bayda’s beach without the Eden Bay coming to mind, but it’s no longer a priority apparently or maybe they’re legit now (because Lebanon right?). Remember the sewage floods too last winter? Also forgotten.

      What seems to be a priority to the Beirut Municipality is removing a bunch of illegal bamboo beach bars and benches, set up on a beach infested by sewage waters and garbage, and surrounded by violating restaurants and cafes. Yes we’re all for removing violations but what’s the point of doing so when the beach poses serious health risks to all those swimming or sun-bathing?

      Now one can argue that it is not the municipality’s job to remove other violations, but what about the sidewalks? What about the garbage lying around? What about providing clean and free public beaches and green spaces to its residents? What about clean air? noise pollution? What about bicycle paths and safe pedestrian side walks? Where are we from all that?

      #liban #beyrouth #privatisation #côtes #plage