The project for the construction of 'Chqnagh' SHPP has been issued a positive environmental conclusion. When comparing the conclusion and the project posted on the official website of RA Nature Protection Ministry, it should be mentioned that the positive opinion of the expert assessment excludes tree felling. 'The areas of SHPP infrastructures are free of any vegetation. The planned activities will be carried out without tree felling,' the opinion says. But the project says, '38 trees will be cut down in the head section, derivation pipeline and station areas, on average, with diameters of 8-32 cm.' In both documents the SHPP construction area is the same and SHPP infrastructure coordinates are not changed: 'Lower reaches of the Tashtoun River using the fall of 221 meters between the marks of 1660.0-1439.0.' The indicators of the pipelines haven't been changed either – length of 3425 meters and diameter of 1220 mm.
The SHPP will be constructed in the area next to 'Arevik' National Park. In this regard, the project says, 'The areas to be occupied by 'Chqnagh' SHPP structures are not included in Arevik National Park, nevertheless, during the construction works it has been taken into consideration that 'Chqnagh' SHPP is located in the area adjacent to Arevik National Park, where the regime laid down by RA Law 'On Specially Protected Areas of Nature' works for the conservation zone.'
In general, the largest impacts from SHPP construction and operation will be exerted on water resources and river ecosystems. These impacts are expressed in the followed:
• Because of water intake, water yields will decrease (from dam river section to SHPP building river section) resulting in the violation of hydraulic, thermal, settling and bed-washing, as well as water self-cleaning regimes,
• deterioration of riverbed humidity and further risk of desertification,
• change in the conditions of feeding, spawning and reproduction of local fish species.'
It should be mentioned that Article 17 of RA Law on Specially Protected Areas of Nature bans the following activities in the recreational and economic zones of the national park:
• Any activities disturbing water regime,
• Violation of habitat conditions of flora and fauna,
• Tree felling,
• Traffic of engine and caterpillar vehicles beyond roads and water ways of general use or their stop beyond the borders of road network.
The material was developed in the frames of “Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue” supported by UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme".
15:14 May 06, 2017