People, Environment

Tourist Resort in Tehran Excoriated

Tourist Resort in Tehran ExcoriatedTourist Resort in Tehran Excoriated

Sib Tourist Resort in Tehran Province’s Aminabad region (in the north), is under construction in an area where the valuable juniper trees stand and is also home to a variety of wildlife species.

Environmentalists fear that the division of the area into districts and the influx of tourists will eventually take a toll and lead to the destruction of the multitude of habitats in the region.

Activists and officials alike have said that the contractors have failed to meet their declared environmental commitments to the Department of Environment and their advance on the area is against the regulations defined by the Forests, Rangeland and Watershed Management Organization.

The question that officials are facing today is whether issuing a permit for such a project was correct in the first place, ILNA reported.

In response, Mohammad Faridi, head of the DOE office in Firouzkouh County, where the resort is being built, said, “We are not in favor of allowing such environmentally harmful projects, but the permits were granted by former officials (in past governments) who must be held accountable.

“Now that the project has progressed this far and over one trillion rials ($33 million) has been spent, the only thing we can do is to ensure that it is implemented with the least environmental damage.”

Before the project was launched, owners of the resort bought 100 hectares of land from private owners and 250 hectares from the FRWO. They obtained all required permits from the DOE, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the FRWO, and the Ministry of Agriculture.  

“After [President Hassan Rouhani’s administration came to office], we noticed deficiencies in the project and notified the contractors and the stakeholders immediately. Several of the issues have been resolved but some still remain,” said Faridi.

Recalling measures taken by his office to ensure the project complies with environmental regulations, the official said a number of roads have been removed and pollution monitoring systems have been installed.

Additionally, restaurants in the resort will be equipped with wastewater treatment systems and a recycling center will be set up. The treated wastewater will be used to irrigate some 60 hectares of green space which will be developed by the owners of the resort.