GREAT victory: On Stara Planina without SHPP until 2035.

With the draft of the new spatial plan of the city of Pirot, which will be adopted soon, no more mini-hydro power plants will be built on Stara Planina.

About a year ago, what was assessed as a rare example of unity between the government and the opposition, since the Pirot Assembly unanimously accepted the conclusion that all locations for the construction of derivation mini-hydro power plants should be excluded from spatial plans, is one step closer to becoming an official document.

Namely, with the draft of the new spatial plan of the city of Pirot, which will be adopted soon, no more SHPPs will be built on Stara Planina. And that ban will remain in force for the next 15 years.

The deletion of about fifty SHPPs, as planned by the cadastre from 1987, was seen as a victory of the locals by eco-activists and representatives of the local government, who, as it seemed until now, did not have a common language.

For Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta, a representative of the movement Let’s Defend the Rivers of Stara Planina (ORSP), this is the only logical move.

“After two years of politicians refusing to solve the problem and banning the construction of 58 SHPPs in the protected area, avoiding any conversation with us, they finally prevented all the rivers of the Stara Planina from disappearing.”

If they hadn’t done that, the locals would have had to move, because there would be no more water. That is how we would get ecological refugees, says Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta for Politika.

Until a few days ago, the people of Pirovac were able to study the details of the draft of the new spatial plan and send remarks to the address of the Planning Commission, which will consider them. Then, this document goes before the commission of the relevant ministry, which should give its consent, and then follows the last word of the councilor of Pirot.

The president of the municipality of Pirot, Vladan Vasić, says that the ministries already respect the position of the local self-government on the ban on the construction of SHPPs on their territory.

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.

This last step we have taken 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 being built. We were exclusively guided by the interest of the local population, Vasić points out for Politika.

“The fight continues, because we have to defend the Rakitska river, which belongs to the municipality of Babusnica, because the investor ignores the decision to ban the works,” announced Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta.

Source: Politics

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