Up to 20,000 buildings are illegally erected in Bucharest, according to Bucharest City Mayor, Nicusor Dan. According to his estimation, during the last 15 years alone, between 15,000 and 20,000 buildings were illegally built and now suffocate the city.
In his opinion, the buildings were constructed by contractors with no respect to the existing laws. Also, all the buildings were placed on green areas, thus cutting down the oxygen level in the Capital. This could happen, as Dan mentioned to the local press, with the complicity of the public clerks from the City Hall, but also from the District Halls.
Bucharest city mayor offered these statements in front of the Romanian Anticorruption Directorate where he filed a complaint years ago.
Can the authorities still do something about the illegal buildings in Bucharest?
The answer is not easy. As mayor Dan mentioned, if 3 years pass without anybody complaining about the building, it can’t be touched. Moreover, it is hard to evacuate the people living inside them. Still, the authorities can still do something and this is enforcing the law. Bucharest courts already sentenced as illegal some of the Zonal Urban Plans of the Capital’s districts which rule the way a building project can be given the green light from the authorities.
Allegedly, the former chief-architect of the Bucharest city hall is responsible for allowing the contractors build illegally in green areas. But this is to be proved by the prosecutors.
The most visible example of a building illegally erected in Bucharest is the office building near Saint Joseph Cathedral. The building is called Cathedral Plaza and it has 75 m height and 19 floors. Finished in 2010, it was sentenced as illegally built by the Romanian courts and now it has to be dismantled.
When will this happen? Not even the city mayor can answer this question, but he told the journalists that it is a complex juridical issue which has to be solved first. The biggest problem seem to be deciding whose money will be used to undergo such an expensive and risky operation.