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Lands which are ceded to municipalities are public property and therefore the municipalities  are not legally permitted to partition or sell them.
Lands which are ceded to municipalities are public property and therefore the municipalities  are not legally permitted to partition or sell them.

Another Tehran Green Space Culled

Another Tehran Green Space Culled

A citizen’s claim to 5,000 sq meters of what is currently a public park named ‘Armaghan’, located in northern Tehran, has led to demolition of parts of the garden facade, and it is likely that the space will be used to make way for another high-rise project.  
Parts of the municipal park facilities have already been razed despite the absence of an official permit, reports say, although the process of further destruction is now said to have been halted by the municipality after the Tehran City Council (TCC) raised objections.
In a talk with the Persian Daily ‘Etemad’, Mohammad Haqqani, head of the Environment Commission at the TCC, said he had visited the site following complaints by local residents about the demolitions.
“Benches and kerbs have been removed and a number of trees cut down,” Haqqani said. Google satellite images however show that one-third of the property has been razed.
Located in Africa (Nelson Mandela Street) Avenue in Tehran District 3, the land, (owner’s identity undisclosed), was turned into a park by the municipality 26 years ago. But apparently now its ownership has been claimed by a citizen after producing specific documents. The person has also sought a construction permit.
While the district municipal authorities have agreed in principle to allow construction in 1,000 sq m of the property, however official permission has not been granted yet. The agreement is also based on the condition that the rest of the park area remains untouched. But this does not appear to be of any help to preserving the park as the area claimed by the so-called owner happens to be located adjacent to the main road and will block access to the park once the high-rise structure starts coming up. It will also spoil the beauty of the garden added over the years.  
Additionally, given the extremely high value of the land (over one billion rials or $28,000 per sq m) the space is most likely to be used for constructing a megamall that will fetch more money rather than a five or six-storey residential building, reports say.  
Iran’s General Inspection Office has declared that lands which are ceded to municipalities are public property and therefore the municipal bodies are not legally permitted to partition or sell them. The area is also classified as green space in the comprehensive urban designs, which means the urban management is not authorized to change the land use.
“The municipality had no right to make agreements on the park because local people have a share of the public space,” said Haqqani adding that land elsewhere should have been offered to the claimant instead, if the documents produced are legal.
He said the matter will be pursued through legal channels to protect the rights of Tehran residents.
Tehran’s green space woes, however, are no new story. Gardens, parks and green spaces in the capital have been sold and modified to serve new purposes for a long time. A park in Elahieh in the north of Tehran was destroyed to become a greengrocery market, green spaces in the Sohanak in northeastern part of the capital have seen two 35-storey residential buildings come up, and the botanical garden in Tajrish which became a commercial center, are only a few instances reported in the media.

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