Again there is a protest demonstration around the operation of "Argitchi" SHPP in Verin Getashen Community, Gegharkounik Region, Armenia. It is already several days since the operation of the SHPP has been stopped. Under Verin Getashen Community Head Tigran Muradyan, the community residents have organized a protest demonstration and closed the valve of the SHPP. The residents are demanding from the SHPP administration to annually transfer to the community 50 million AMD.
'On Friday, 100-150 residents have gone to the water intake section of the SHPP, closed the valve and now the whole water flows into the river via the fish passway. The villagers have presented their demands, and I have presented them to the company operating the SHPP in the form of an application-request,' Tigran Muradyan told EcoLur.
The application-request says, 'In 2015, 'Hydrocorporation' CJSC was permitted to construct a HPP in the administrative area of Verin Getashen community in Gegharkounik Region with the permission of Verin Getashen residents provided that 'Hydrocorporation' CJSC administration will allot some funds from its annual income for the development of Verin Getashen community, its kindergarten and aid to insecure families. Nevertheless, so far the company hasn't allotted even a penny for the solution of the aforementioned problems.
Meanwhile, the owners of smaller SHPPs operating in the neighboring communities provide around 10,000,000 (10 million) AMD to the communities for these purposes.
For this very reason and based on the complaints of around 5000 community residents, we are applying to the administration of 'Hydrocorporation' CJSC so that the company performs the obligations it has undertaken and annually transfers a sum of 50 million AMD to the relevant account number of Verin Getashen municipality from its incomes starting from 2015.
In the opposite case, the local population won't allow the HPP to continue its operation.'
'50 million AMD is the demand of the villagers. Together with 4 people, I have gone and had a meeting with the SHPP administration, handed in the application to them, but we didn't reach an agreement. The company didn't agree with this sum of money, I have offered them to present their sum of money, they haven't presented,' Tigran Muradyan said.
Instead, 'Hydrocorporation' CJSC has reported to RA Chief Prosecutor's Office on the initiation of a criminal case in regard to the protest demonstration of Verin Getashen residents.
'They have broke in, damaged our property, had quarrels with the company workers, committed illegal actions and the SHPP has been stopped for already 4 days. Let all people in charge of these actions be held to criminal responsibility. In my opinion, the instigator is the village head,' 'Hydrocorporation' CJSC Director Emil Mirzoyan told EcoLur.
'The police have recorded that no damage to the property, quarrels, and swearing took place,' Tigran Muradyan said in reply to Mirzoyan's words.
In regard to the demanded amount, Director of 'Hydrocorporation' CJSC said, 'This is an exclusive way of extortion. We have constructed the HPP with KfW loan and we haven't paid off 400 million we owe to the state,' Emil Mirzoyan said.
Verin Getashen Community Head Tigran Muradyan noted that he had presented the problems connected with irrigation, environment, and compensation to Suren Papikyan, Minister for Territorial Administration and Development and Gegharkounik Regional Head Gnel Sanosyan.
17:29 February 25, 2019