BUSINESS

Citizens prevented the Start of Construction of a small Hydropower Plant in Bosnia

More than a thousand villagers around the Neretvica River near Konjic, along with many environmental activists from the region, blocked the local road yesterday morning, thus preventing the announced start of construction of smallhydropower plants on the mentioned river. The machines that were supposed to start working have returned, and with this, the citizens have achieved their mission, at least for now.

Activists of the environmental organization “Let me run” (in Bosnian: Pusti me da tecem) mention that they filed a lawsuit against the contractor and investors at the competent court in Mostar, and they also claim they have evidence to confirm that the permits were not obtained through legal procedures. Like the activists of the association Ibrahim Turak and Safet Sarajlicpointed out, there are at least a thousand witnesses here who can confirm that the first step in obtaining permits, holding a publichearing, was never implemented.

The protesters were joined by the members of the music group Dubioza kolektiv.

Yesterday morning (before 10 a.m.) more than a thousand citizens of the municipality of Konjic, along with numerous environmental activists, occupied the local road that leads to the place where the construction site of the planned mini hydroelectric power plant on the river Neretvica was supposed to be. They welcomed the trucks loaded with excavators with shouts and told them to return because there would be no construction.

Local environmentalist Safet Sarajlic was the first to stand in front of the trucks. While explaining his motives for opposing the construction of 15 mini hydropower plants on the primevalNeretvica River, he emphasized that the legally prescribed procedures were not followed and that there was no talk of any strategic interests of Elektroprivreda of Bosnia and Herzegovina (EPBiH).

In 2009, the Municipality of Konjic signed a Concession Agreement with EPBiH for the construction of 15 mini hydropower plants planned for construction on a length of 34 kilometers along the river, which the locals strongly oppose.

A representative of the contractor, company Amitea, stated that they had been instructed by the investors of EPBiH not to give up, but still decided to turn the trucks around and go back. This is the second postponement of the start of construction of the first two mini hydropower plants, and the value of the project is around 11 million BAM, BHRT writes.

E.Dz

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