October 18, 2019 - Prime Minister Dusko Markovic announced at a press conference after the Government session in Pljevlja that the Government would begin negotiations on the termination of concessions for the construction of small hydropower plants in several cities. In addition to this positive environmental news, the government session was marked by the unannounced arrival of ecological activists, with massive involvement of police forces and a minor incident.
"This program has undoubtedly provided a new impetus for electricity generation, but there have also been failures in this developmental momentum that would harm nature. In some cases, this development conflict would have missed its goal, which is to improve the quality of life and the development of local communities. It cannot flow separately from the preservation of a unique and healthy environment in these localities," Markovic said after the Government session.
"That is why the Government tasked the Ministry of Economy to start negotiations on the termination of the contract for the construction of a small hydropower plant on the Bistrica River in Bijelo Polje, then on the three rivers in Plavu-Murinska, Djuricka and Komaracka, as well as on Bukovica in Savnik and Trepacka River in Andrijevica," Markovic said at last night's press conference.
The unannounced arrival of environmental activists, dressed in ABHO suits and wearing gas masks on their heads, welcomed the Prime Minister and members of the Government in front of the Pljevlja Cultural Center, brought to the street the full composition of the police there.
Civilian inspectors prevented one of the activists of the NGO Alternative Pljevlja Ali Šljuk from approaching the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Kemal Purišić.
Milorad Mitrovic from the NGO Breznica said that the performance of environmentalists began well before the arrival of ministers, prime ministers, and members of the Government.
"Activists were holding a 'Danger - Contaminated Area' banner withdrawn signs of biological, radiological, and chemical danger. One activist was holding a mirror that was pointing at the direction of officials coming to the Government session at all times. They noticed activists in white, but pretended not to see them," Mitrovic said.
He said the activists had left after Dusko Markovic's cabinet members entered the building of the House of Culture, in which they held a session, but that the security remained until the session ended.
"The downtown, some streets, as well as the city garage, were closed to traffic. A lot of police forces and security personnel were accompanying the Government session. In front of the Cultural Center were Special Police units, civilian inspectors, officers of the Agency for National Security. The presence of the Security and Rescue Service and the ambulance were also striking. In front of the building were Dragan Slavulj, Chief of the Pljevlja Security Center, the Head of the National Security Agency Veselin Jolovic, and all members of the service. Environmental activists were probably the reason for such unusual security," Mitrovic said.
Mitrovic is one of the activists who has been fighting for months to prevent the realization of mini-hydro power plant construction projects, for which the Government of Montenegro has concluded concession contracts with investors, which it has now decided to indemnify.