Edik Baghdasaryan

Yervand Zakharyan is still selling land

In a decision made on December 26, 2003, Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharyan parceled off an additional 2,050 square meters of land in the Hrazdan gorge for 25 years, adding to the 2,050 square meter plot already controlled by Akumb Complex, Ltd. There are now eleven cafés and restaurants in the Hrazdan Gorge. Three of them were built without any formally documented land allocation; the rest are on land provided by mayors Suren Abrahamyan (one plot), Albert Bazeyan (two plots), Robert Nazaryan (four plots), and Yervand Zakharyan (one plot). There is no sewage system in this area, so sewage from the restaurants is dumped directly into the Hrazdan River, whose waters are used by residents of the nearby villages for irrigation, to grow the fruits and vegetables they sell in the markets of Yerevan.

What compelled Mayor Zakharyan to make this decision on the eve of the New Year? It may have something to do with the fact the founder of Akumb, and the owner of Monte Carlo, the biggest establishment in the gorge, is Levon Harutyunyan, a former official in the Mayor's Office and current mayor of the Arabkir District of Yerevan.