Land ownership dispute blocks healthcare investments in Marosvásárhely

Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș will lose important healthcare investments if the ownership of roughly 20 hectares of land isn’t clarified urgently, according to members of the Maros/Mureș County National Liberal Party (PNL). At the core of the problem is a decade-long process of claiming ownership of a piece of land situated near the Maros County Hospital (via Székelyhon).

The land, which is adjacent to the Maros County Emergency Clinical Hospital (SCJU Târgu Mureș), has been sitting unused and without a clear owner noted in the land registry. Back in 2012 the government transferred ownership of the land – situated between the hospital and the Marosszentgyörgy/Sângeorgiu de Mureș cemetery – to the Maros County Council, but the city management challenged the transfer in court and claimed ownership. Their argument was that the land had always been under the administration of the city.

The court ruled in favor of the Marosvásárhely city management, saying that the ownership transfer wasn’t legal, but it refrained from clarifying the ownership of the 20 hectares of land.

Based on available documents, a couple years ago, in 2019, Maros County Council adopted a decision which says the city owns 75,299 square meters, and the County Council, 111,753 square meters. However, Marosvásárhely City Council didn’t accept the decision; therefore, the ownership of the 20 hectares still awaits clarification in the land registry.

While the two authorities are throwing the ball into each other’s courts, the uncertainty blocks a EUR 31 million investment in the city’s healthcare system.

The money – received by the Ministry of Health as a loan from the World Bank – is for the building of a new burn center with intensive care department and surgery rooms, which would sit on the land whose ownership is disputed. But that’s only one project: the Marosvásárhely Emergency Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases and Transplantation also has investment plans, according to the Institution’s manager, Horațiu Suciu, who is also the leader of the Marosvásárhely arm of PNL.

Soós Zoltán, the mayor of Marosvásárhely, underscored that at this point he would like to leave the political noise out of the dispute and focus on finding a solution. Levente Kovács, the vice-president of Maros County Council, shares a similar position, saying that the negotiations are ongoing, and highlighted that although the ownership dispute wasn’t resolved at a time when members of the PNL were running both the county and the city between 2012 and 2016, they now expect a solution within eight months.

Until ownership is clarified between the Marosvásárhely and Maros County councils, the investment plans will remain in the drawer. Let’s hope these plans won’t end up covered in dust and eaten by moths.

Title image: The piece of land subject to the ownership dispute. Image source: Székelyhon

Author: István Fekete