Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri is standing by the Planning Administration and the senior planning professionals in the controversy over the metro project in Tel Aviv. "The process of planning the metro and the areas of its stations must continue full steam ahead. The transport crisis in Israel is very real, and the metro is of supreme importance in the range of solutions to this crisis," Deri said yesterday, following a session of the National Planning and Building Commission on the huge infrastructure project, at the end of which it was decided to continue moving ahead with the project and to publish an announcement of certain restrictions on building permits in areas surrounding the metro stations, because of planning measures being introduced in these areas.
Minister of Transport Miri Regev astonished many people this week when she declared at the "Globes" Real Estate Conference that she opposed the project, and that she intended to allocate budgets intended for the metro to the development of transport projects that would connect the center of Israel to its outlying regions.
Yesterday's session of the National Planning and Building Commission in the Ministry of the Interior was arranged before Regev's speech. The council decided to publish an announcement under sections 77 and 78 of the Planning and Building Law concerning a national outline plan for the areas around the Tel Aviv metro system. This announcement, accompanied by maps, forbids the issue of building permits for projects in the environs of 32 of the planned 109 metro stations, which means the freezing of construction in the designated areas for years.
"This is the costliest, most complicated, and most important transport project in the country's history," Deri said, commenting on the decision. "The metro network, in which vast resources have been invested, will serve millions of citizens, will advance the economy, and will lead Israel into a new era."
Mordechai Cohen, director general of the Ministry of the Interior and the head of the National Planning and Building Commission said, "The process of planning the metro network must be carried out alongside high-quality, correct urban planning. Only thus will we be able to exploit the land efficiently and construct a mass transit system that will be a major tool of economic, social and environmental development. We shall continue to work energetically to strengthen Israeli society."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 28, 2020
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