Gegharkounik Region Residents: "Argitchi" SHPP – Outrageous Breach of All Limits

Gegharkounik Region Residents: "Argitchi" SHPP – Outrageous Breach of All Limits


The residents of Verin Getashen, Nerqin Getashen and Madina Villages, Gegharkounik Region, think "Argitchi" SHPP is illegal and note that the illegally constructed SHPP will operate illegally as well, “No public hearings, no expertise, no allotment of land areas, nothing… total outrageous breach of all limits,” the villagers are worried, “They want the people to migrate so as several slaves are left, they want to own everything… They are destroying everything…This SHHP will destroy our village…The fish will get disappeared and everything will disappear…”

In 2012 “Hydrocorporation” CJSC constructed “Argitchi” SHPP on the Argitchi River, Gegharkounik Region. The SHPP turned out into a complete disaster for Martuni community, Gegharkounik Region. The irrigation of five communities is undermined, as well the reproduction and conservation of natural populations of the trout and other endemic fish species of Lake Sevan. According to the locals, the public hearings on “Argitchi” SHPP didn’t take place, and they learnt about the SHPP only when the construction was launched. “No hearings were held: we even don’t know who owns the construction: we haven’t seen anybody. Do you believe they would come and ask for our permission to construct anything here?” said Verin Getashen Villager Bayandur Hovhannisyan.

“We will say “farewell” to the fish after this SHPP,” the villagers say. “We used to have much fish, the fish disappeared after the accident occurred in the SHPP. One of our villagers collected four bags of fish thrown out of the pipes,” said Verin Getashen Villager Gurgen Gasparyan. Reminder: “Argitchi” SHPP pipes broke twice, which resulted in flooding the harvest of barley and potato. “They gathered water in the reservoir, and then they immediately let the water out. Everything is destroyed and all the fish reserves are killed,” said German teacher Khachik Pinasyan, “Officially two accidents are mentioned, but the number of accidents exceeds ten. The compensation they gave was 40,000 MAD, when the water flooded barley fields…They destroyed so many things, but nobody is concerned… The villagers are deprived of their only source of income,” the villagers said.

 In Verin Getashen only Rural Administration Secretary Zinatel Karapetyan positively spoke about the construction of "Argitchi" SHPP. “These poor people have done nothing wrong? Yes, a little bit potato was flooded,” she said.

This material  was made possible through the full support of Open Society Foundations – Armenia’s Policy Fellowship Program Initiative, grant number 18571. Ideas, thoughts, and arguments presented in the paper are the sole expression of the author’s views and do not reflect those of Open Society Assistance Foundations – Armenia. 

January 21, 2014 at 14:31

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