The draft of the new spatial plan of the City of Pirot envisages that no derivation mini hydro power plant (SHPP) will be built on Stara Planina anymore, Politika writes. Activists of the movement Let’s Defend the Rivers of Stara Planina say that the fight for the rivers continues with the work action of extracting pipes from the Rakita River.
The ban on SHPPs on Stara Planina will be valid for 15 years, and all facilities of that type that were planned for 1987 will be deleted from the cadastre, it was announced from the municipality of Pirot.
“If the locals had not done that, they would have had to move, because there would be no more water. That is how we would have got ecological refugees,” Aleksandar Jovanovic Cuta from the movement Let’s Defend the Rivers of Stara Planina told Politika.
He reminded that the politicians refused to do anything for two years and prevent the destruction of the rivers.
“This last step we took is not the result of pressure from some local powerful people or eco-activists, but the conclusion that there is no public interest in them (SHPPs) being built. We were exclusively guided by the interest of the local population,” Mayor of Pirot, Vasic, told Politika.
He added that the ban is already being respected.
“Recently, the relevant ministry rejected the request of an investor interested in building a small hydroelectric power plant on Stara Planina, referring to the conclusion on the deletion of SHPP, which was adopted by the assembly last year,” Vasic notes.
“The fight continues, because we have to defend the Rakita river, which belongs to the municipality of Babusnica. As the investor ignores the decision to ban the works, the locals are organizing a work action to remove the pipes on August 15,” said Aleksandar Jovanovic Cuta.
The local vasts in Pirot were otherwise the target of sharp criticism due to the impossible observation of the construction of the SHPP on Stara Planina.
The village of Rakita has become one of the main symbols of the fight against SHPPs.
In the municipality of Pirot, they also say that there are two more locations left on the Nisava River for the construction of SHPPs, but that the conditions that investors must meet have been tightened.
They explain that the Nisava is a big river and that it will not end in pipes.