Bulgarian Eco Ministry Checks Bansko Ski Resort for Violations
Sofia news Agency, 03 September 2010
The Bulgarian Ministry of Environment has staged a check about whether the territory on which the Yulen company operates ski tracks above Bansko is not larger than the one officially allowed.
The announcement made by Minister of Environment Nona Karadzhova for Bulgarian daily Dnevnik, comes after citizens raised alarm on a satellite picture by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, showing that Yulen actually operates on a territory larger than the one given to it according to the concession by the state.
The ministry has now announced that it has hired a private company to shoot and measure the area of the Bansko Ski Zone. The check will be ready by the end of September.
The Ministry of Environment has nevertheless permitted Yulen to conduct – without environmental impact assessment – reconstruction work on a ski lift, arguing that the track undoubtedly falls within the area of concession. Environmental activists have disagreed with that.
Yulen, which operates the ski facilities in Bulgaria’s largest ski resort Bansko, has a long history of raising environmental controversy.
In mid-July the eco ministry stopped, after initially giving green light, to a similar ski lift repair that was intended to raise the capacity of another lift above Bansko. In that case, it was determined that Yulen was cutting down trees without being permitted to.
Bansko Ski Area is located on the borders and within the Pirin National Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.