Penalties for tomatoes and plums?
Uzhgorod residents are considered offenders if they plant "gardens" near high rises
To work on the land, to form the beds, to plant, to root out, to grow something with their own hands - for many people, especially the elderly, this is the best kind of rest. Therefore it is not surprising that among all kinds of leasure many Uzhgorod residents choose to go to the country or work in the garden. Autumn is the most rewarding time for this, because they can literally "reap the fruits of their labor." However, even those city dwellers who can only dream of several acres in the suburbs find a way out of the situation: they arrange small gardens right under the windows of apartment blocks.
For some it's just a vent, the way to spend free time, sort of a hobby or an irresistible love for the land. And for someone it is a real opportunity to save on home grown cucumbers, tomatoes and greens.
Ms. Hanna has lived almost all her life in the village, but after the retirement she had to move with her children in the city, a village house was sold several years ago. The woman says that the piece of land under the balcony is a true salvation for her, otherwise she could not stand the city life. And there are many people like her, among the residents of first, second floors in Uzhgorod. Flower beds, clean beds and fruit trees, please the eye among a rather monotonous cityscapes and usually weedy "no man's" green patches.
However, as it turns out, all these oases of care and fruit and vegetable abundance are ... illegal. And their masters are evil offendres. Especially those who also enclose their own mini-gardens with fences against intruders and stray animals. They face penalty in the amount of 340 to almost 1400 UAH!
The department of city improvement of Uzhgorod City Council meanwhile says that they are trying not to take such harsh measures against too thrifty inhabitants of high rises. "We ask people not to plant vegetable crops and garden trees in areas adjacent to buildings. We are trying to find an agreement. After all, administrative penalties are rather significant. Residents then complain, that they do a good deed, keep the area clean, and for that they are punished" - explains the head of sanitation and improvement department of Uzhgorod City Council Oleksandra Turyanchyk.
"Fenced beds under the windows of apartment blocks are a serious breach of fire regulations, as they impede access of special vehicles to buildings", - the municipality commented.
"It is also forbidden to plant fruit trees, especially plums, within the city line because their fallen fruit become good food for rodents, contribute to their spread. Rodents, in turn, are the carriers of many infectious diseases dangerous for human. So this must be addressed. The same can be said about the grapes, which weaves up many balconies to the 4th or 5th floor. For mice and rats also can use it to get into the apartment" - Oleksandra Turyanchyk adds.
It turns out that in order to plant a tree in your own yard you need the approval of the municipal authorities. Because only certain species are suitable for planting within the city line. However, only a few appeal for such approval. Officials believe that the people must become accustomed to treat their own adjoining areas responsibly. They must use them in accordance with the applicable rules under which only grass and flowers can grow in the green zones, and access to them must be unobstructed. However, not all of Uzhgorod residents are willing to accept this formulation. Some people over the years have become so accustomed to a piece of land under their windows that they regard it as their sole property. Meanwhile, officials note, the adjacent to the house territory belongs equally to all residents of the building - no matter which floor they live on.
However, experience shows that if there is no flower or vegetable garden under the windows, there is usually a dump and shrubs there. And it can also be a good home for rodents.
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