The application for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the merger of the Ötztal and Pitztal glacier ski areas was “rejected due to the inadequacy of the documents,” said the decision that was sent to the project applicants at the end of last week. The project was accompanied by several scandals. Media reported that a summit was about to be blown up. Those responsible reacted with denials, but the planned interventions in the sensitive nature were massive. Finally, suspicion of electoral fraud arose.
The project applicants would have had to submit further, updated documents relating to the “deviations between the actual conditions on site and the representations in the project, due to the progressive retreat of the glacier”. As the “Tiroler Tageszeitung” reported last week, this should have happened by October 31st. However, the Pitztaler Gletscherbahn and Ötztaler Gletscherbahn didn’t keep up. The country has therefore responded with a cancellation notice. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the project, which would have invested 130 million euros and envisaged three new cable cars and 60 hectares of additional slopes, was launched in 2016.
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suspected electoral fraud
However, after the people of Pitztal had voted on the project, it was quite clear that the project would not go ahead. In July, the citizens of the affected municipality of St. Leonhard im Pitztal spoke out against it with a narrow majority. In autumn, however, it became known that there was a suspicion of electoral fraud. According to the accusation, signatures are said to have been forged or voting cards filled out by persons other than the person entitled to vote. 353 eligible voters had voted against the merger. Five fewer voters, 348, had voted “Yes”. The State Criminal Police Office then took over the investigation. Prosecutor spokesman Hansjörg Mayr told APA on Wednesday that these investigations were not yet complete.