CONSTRUCTION OF A HYDROPOWER PLANT ON THE RIVER ARGICHI IS LIKE “WHITE GENOCIDE”, AN EXPERT THINKS

CONSTRUCTION OF A HYDROPOWER PLANT ON THE RIVER ARGICHI IS LIKE “WHITE GENOCIDE”, AN EXPERT THINKS

ArmInfo

Construction of a hydropower plant (HPP) on the river Argichi is like "white genocide", ecologist Knarik Hovhannisyan told ArmInfo correspondent.

To recall the construction of the HPP was launched on the basis of permission for the land irrigation of the Aghnjadzor rural community in Vayots Dzor region.

However, according to strange mathematics, almost 7 thsd hectares of lands belonging to 5 communities: Geghovit, Madina, Vaghashen, Nerkin Getashen and Verin Getashen will remain without water for irrigation of 71 hectares of Aghnjadzor. It is noteworthy that the regional administration of Gegharkunik has not given its permit for the construction. The name of the new ordering customer of the HPP remains unknown, but according to rumors, a high-ranking official's son is behind this undertaking.

The local population is frightened, but at the same time, it is ready to protect its interests, she said. "These are people, whose grandfathers and great-grandfathers came here from Western Armenia and laid new roads near Sevan and built new towns – Nor Bayazet and Martuni. Will their descendants be expelled from there now? There is a terrible term for that - "white genocide". It is horrible that all this is being done with our own hands",- she said. Hovhannisyan pointed out that the local population is sure that after the dam is built, the river Argichi will remain absolutely without water.

"As an ecologist, I am well aware that according to the Water Code, one should leave environmental consumption in the river, which will contribute to maintenance of the biological diversity. Moreover, it is necessary to do this for the river to stay a river, but not turn into a gutter",- she said. Hovhannisyan was unaware whether the construction work is really suspended, as the Environmental Inspection says, or not.

Anyway, the public has already said its loaded word, having addressing a letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan with the support of the Aarhus Center. The public demands that the work aimed at changing the Argichi course should be stopped. To note, Argichi is the most full-flowing river running into the lake and pouring in it about 176 mln cub.m. of water annually.

July 17, 2010


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