Resident: "Argitchi" SHPP Is "Bomb" for Adjacent Communities

Resident: "Argitchi" SHPP Is "Bomb" for Adjacent Communities

Recently, the pipe of Argichi SHPP, built on the Argitchi River in Gegharkunik Region, exploded once again, creating a hole 3 meters deep. Each time such accidents cause great damage to the locals and their land areas the SHPP pipeline passes through.

Verin Getashen, Nerkin Getashen, Madina and Geghovit Communities are under the impact of Argichi SHPP. According to SOS Argitchi initiative group member Vardan Galstyan, a resident of Verin Getashen Community, Argitchi SHPP is a "bomb" for the adjacent communities.

"If the explosion had been above Madina or Verin Getashen villages, there would have been more destruction and more damage. It was a very strong jet of water, creating a hole of about 3 meters deep. Those stones were taken out and dumped onto someone’s land area, most probably on the privatized territory," Vardan Galstyan said.

Argitchi SHPP creates a problem of water scarcity in the communities, working during the irrigation season. For years, community residents have received access to irrigation water as a result of protests and road closures.

"We had an agreement that they would not work during the irrigation season, but they were bringing it to a critical level so that the villagers were already protesting," Vardan Galstyan said.

Another member of SOS Argitchi initiative, Paytsar Aghababyan, a resident of Verin Getashen Community, said that areas of the village were destroyed due to the SHPP activities, people did not receive compensation or if they did, it was a negligible amount.

"This is an issue that needs to be resolved. The villager should not suffer, he should receive compensation. During the irrigation period, people should know that they should have their water the next day, which they should use rather than fight for it, what is more, get insulted for that. If a person has an interest, it should not be at the expense of the villager," he noted.

Vardan Galstyan also referred to the other issue of "Argitchi" SHPP. Due to the noise of the station's aggregators, the recreation areas were reduced. "The company could have implemented social programs, but the company's social activities in the development of the community are missing. Argitchi SHPP uses water resources and space, damages the community during explosions, and pays only 120,000 AMD per year," he said.

According to the Settlement Center, Argitchi SHPP produced 17,560,657 kWh of electricity from the beginning of 2020 to August, including 364,733 kWh of electricity in August, the hottest period for the irrigation season. Information on electricity generated at the SHPP for 2021 has not yet been published.

October 04, 2021 at 12:22