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Trzebinia. Alternative housing for residents of the most endangered areas. There is also an announcement of compensation for damaged graves

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There will be substitute housing for the inhabitants of the most endangered areas – announced on Thursday during the meeting of the parliamentary committee on sinkholes in Trzebinia (Małopolskie Voivodship) Janusz Smoliło, the president of the Company for the Restructuring of Mines. The head of the company also pointed out that people whose loved ones rested in graves destroyed by the collapse of the earth will receive compensation. In turn, the mayor of Trzebinia Jarosław Okoczuk admitted that some residents report to him that they no longer want to live in this town.

On Thursday, a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee for Energy, Climate and State Assets was held, concerning the problem of sinkholes that Trzebinia, Lesser Poland, has been struggling with in recent years. According to estimates, in the last two-three years the ground has sunk about 100 times in the commune.

Read also: Nearly 500 places at risk of subsidence. New research results in Trzebinia

As announced during the meeting by the president of the Mine Restructuring Company (SRK), which is the legal successor of the liquidated hard coal mine “Siersza”, there will be substitute apartments for residents of the most endangered areas of Trzebinia. However, Janusz Smoliło did not provide details, because – as he explained – he is waiting for a report on potential replacement properties.

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There will be compensation for the graves absorbed into the sinkhole

Smoliło also told the Sejm that people who lost the graves of their loved ones as a result of a sinkhole in the parish cemetery in Trzebinia, they will receive the amount due for the lost grave or SRK will rebuild the grave. As he added, if decisions are made to rebuild the graves, instead of receiving funds for the destruction, it must be taken into account that the reconstruction will not be possible for at least the next year.

Read also: No sooner had one hole been filled than another appeared. The new sinkhole in Trzebinia is 10 meters wide

Previously, the issue of compensation was not clear. Even in March, there were many indications that SRK would not pay any compensation, because the cemetery turned out to be building arbitrariness of the parish priest. Marek Pieszczek, vice-president of SRK, explained then that “everything indicates that Spółka Restrukturownictwa Kopalń is not responsible for the damage that has occurred.” Later, however, in a communiqué, representatives of SRK emphasized that the company “does not evade liability for the payment of compensation in connection with the resulting damage.”

So far, SRK has received 20 applications from residents for compensation for graves that were absorbed by the ground in September 2022. 40 tombstones fell into the huge funnel.

Read also: A few meters from the block, a silo fell into the hole. They buried it together with the tank

– By the end of April we will be talking to each of these residents – said President Smoliło on Thursday.

A sinkhole at the cemetery in TrzebiniaTVN24

Trzebinia. SRK announces drainage of the area

During the meeting of the parliamentary commission, the president of SRK also announced that the drainage of the post-mining area will be launched by the end of June, which is to stop the rising water table. – We have a hydrogeological project with places where drainage pumps can be placed – noted Janusz Smoliło.

The liquidators of the former mine assumed that water would fill the voids left after mining, but over time it began to come closer and closer to the surface of the earth. It is mainly for this reason that sinkholes are formed in the commune. In Trzebinia – as indicated by geologists – there are clay and sandy soils, which intensifies the phenomenon of land collapse.

481 places at risk of sinkholes in Trzebinia. “We expect tangible actions”

On Wednesday, after the meeting of the provincial crisis management staff, the chief geologist of the country, Deputy Minister of Climate Piotr Dziadzio informed that 481 potential places where sinkholes may occur have been identified in Trzebinia. – Most of them, however, are in a wooded area, and only 38 are of significant social importance, i.e. they are in close proximity to buildings. This buffer zone has a border of 20 meters – said Dziadzio at a press conference.

– This is uncertainty every day. After 200 years of coal exploitation, after the mistakes of the past, we are faced with a problem. We expect tangible actions that will give us a sense of security – said the mayor of Trzebinia Jarosław Okoczuk on Thursday during a meeting of the parliamentary committee.

The local government official also informed that “the residents do not know what to think, what to do” and that “they are not interested in what methods” will be used to conduct land research or to protect the area. “We want to feel safe,” he said. He added that some residents report to him that they do not want to live here.

Recalling the latest data from the Polish Geological Institute on almost 500 places at risk of sinkholes, including 38 within 20 meters of buildings, he noted that not only water, but also time is the enemy of the inhabitants.

The mayor listed four inhabited locations that are significantly at risk of subsidence: the vicinity of ul. Młyńska, Misiury housing estate, ul. Górnicza and the vicinity of the Trętowiec estate. Okoczuk expects information from SRK about areas that should be deprived of their current functions.

Okoczuk also expects SRK to pay compensation to residents. “The local government is unable to bear this and cannot be held responsible for it,” he stressed.

Members of Parliament and the social side participating in the meeting drew attention to the lack of prompt action on the part of SRK, the lack of compensation and the falling prices of real estate in this location. Some are afraid of the lack of financing for the activities of SRK in Trzebinia. The company announced that it receives the necessary funds from government subsidies.

SRK is to send to the committee and the mayor a schedule of activities related to minimizing threats in Trzebinia. At the next meeting of the committee, the participants of the committee are to refer to specific points of the schedule.

The problem of sinkholes in Trzebinia. Work in progress

In Trzebinia, Spółka Restrukturownictwa Kopalń has been carrying out treatment works in places most at risk of sinkholes since February. The companies carrying out the works there are selected through tenders.

According to the commune authorities, in the last two or three years, about 100 holes may have appeared in the post-mining area, including those that have not been inventoried. The Chief National Geologist indicated about 90 points where sinkholes are likely to occur. The last of them appeared in allotment gardens on Wednesday (April 12).

The sinkholes in Trzebinia became famous in September 2022, when the ground collapsed in the cemetery and absorbed several dozen graves.

The hard coal mine “Siersza” in Trzebinia stopped operating in 2001.

Main photo source: Siersza housing estate

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