Activists: Sochi officials just let businessmen close beaches
Bloggers living in the resort town claim half the shoreline is closed to the public.
Sochi’s well-known blogger Aleksandr Valov said that all the efforts to open the town’s beaches have not been particularly fruitful. Rosbalt wrote that the local authorities stand for the interests of certain businessmen, which remain the main obstacle.
According to Vlasov, it is the coast of the Sochi’s Central District that is mostly inaccessible. The district is densely populated, but has a narrow coastline; fences surround the embankments. Moreover, there are other closed beaches in the Lazarev, Khosta and Adler regions.
The social activist reminded that according to Article 6 of the Russia’s Water Code, all beaches must be open to the public. Restricted access can only be granted to spa resorts that use beaches for medicinal purposes. In Sochi, however, besides health camps, some hotels, restaurants and others take advantage of the clause. As an example, Vlasov mentions Zhemchuzhina Hotel that has a private beach in downtown Sochi.
Advocates for open beaches have been fighting for years now, yet the local authorities remain reluctant to meet their demands, the blogger said. So far, just a few beaches have finally welcomed general public.