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HomeLithuaniaPanevezys district residents to protest in Vilnius over Rail Baltica node

Panevezys district residents to protest in Vilnius over Rail Baltica node

Residents of Lithuania’s northern district of Panevezys are staging a protest in front of the Presidential Palace in Vilnius on Tuesday against the developers’ proposed option for the Panevezys node of the Rail Baltica European standard-gauge railway.

The node consists of an international passenger station in the western part of Panevezys and an additional railway stretch of nearly 23 kilometers crossing the city.

Tomas Rutkauskas of the Panevezys District Public Interest Protection Group says they oppose the choice of what they see as an irrational node option that goes against the law, constitutional provisions and public interest.

“We see other options that are much cheaper, more rational, and economically justified, and would definitely be acceptable to the public,” he told BNS.

Local residents fear that more than two dozen residential houses will be demolished during the construction of the railway, and there are concerns about the fate of the narrow gauge railway, a cultural heritage site.

Rutkauskas said Vilnius City Municipality had granted permission for up to 50 protesters.

Three options for the development of the European-gauge rail network in Panevezys District were presented to the public last year.

The two cheaper options, estimated to cost 69 million euros and 73 million euros, envisaged a railway line running close to Panevezys with a passenger station in Gustonys without an additional section through the city.

Panevezys District residents favor one of these cheaper options.

Rail Baltica will connect Tallinn, Parnu, Riga, Panevezys, Kaunas, Vilnius and Warsaw, including a 392-kilometre stretch in Lithuania.

The Transport Ministry says the entire Rail Baltica project linking the Baltic countries to Europe is scheduled to be completed by 2030.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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