Protests Against SHPPs Ongoing for Three Months, Authorities Not Responding

By , 01 Nov 2020, 19:16 PM News
Protests Against SHPPs Ongoing for Three Months, Authorities Not Responding Protests in Kraljske Bare, Photo: Dragana Šćepanović
Novembar 1, 2020 - Even after three months of protesting against the construction of small hydroelectric power plants (SHPPs) on the Ljubastica, Crnja, and Cestogaz watercourses, the residents of Kraljske Bare have not received a single response to numerous letters and requests sent to local and state authorities. Today, locals condemned the administration's silence with another protest near Čestogaz, calling it shameful and defeating.
In mid-July, locals stopped work on the SHPP, built by the Podgorica-based company Dekar. Since then, day and night guards and protest gatherings once a week, they say, "defend the continuation of works and their right to life."
The protest once again called on the authorities to terminate the concession agreements and cancel all permits for small hydropower plants on three watercourses. Until this is achieved, they say, they will not give up.
"The state administration is silent because either they do not want to admit their mistakes or because they do not want to bear responsibility. The silence of the administration in the 21st century towards the demands of the local people regarding this crucial issue is devastating. The protests will continue until they terminate the concession agreements," said Vladimir Novović.
He recalled that neither has the Environmental Protection Agency reacted to the request for annulment of the Election Report on Environmental Impact Assessment, based on which construction permits for small hydropower plants were issued. As Novović said, there are no inspections to determine that "what they discussed several years ago does not exist," that is, the works on SHPPs are not in the final but the initial phase.
He announced that the locals would file lawsuits with the Administrative Court and recalled that for three months now, they have been pointing out "numerous irregularities in the procedure of granting concessions for water islands in Kraljske Bare."
"The construction of SHPPs is an attack on rivers, forests, mountains, and the people who live here. It is an attack on the natural good, which belongs to every human being. The philosophy of such a "faith" is greed and kidnapping. There is nothing more behind it," said the president of the Local Community, Milovan Labović.

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