On May 10, the residents of Khashtarak Village, Tavush Region, blocked the interstate road, protesting against "Coke System" LLC belonging to the family of former MP Khachatur Kokobelyan. In their conversation with Gagik Shamshyan, the protesters said, "We have applied to the competent authorities many times, but the cart does not move. Today we have to block the road, because you see how the Aghst River flows into the Getap recreation area, flooding even buildings and playgrounds due to Kh. Kokobelyan.”
"KOK System" LLC made a statement, which particularly says: “As for Matinyan's allegations that the SHPP construction was carried out "with gross architectural and design violations", we consider it necessary to mention that on April 5, 2016 “Coke System” Company received a construction permit for the construction of a junction on a 420-square-meter plot of land located at 1, 13 Street, Lusadzor, Lusadzor Community, Tavush Region, RA. In 2017, the final act was already approved, according to which the construction of the main junction of KOK SHPP at 1, 13 Street, Lusadzor community in Tavush Region, Armenia had been completed, was ready for operation, and corresponded to the construction permit issued on 05.04.2016.
In April 2019, at the request of the owner of "Fairy Tale" complex, Tavush Regional Administration instructed Lusadzor community to carry out a relevant expertise-measurement on the compliance of the project of Kok System Ltd. with the lawfulness of construction and cadastral registration. As a result of the expert examination carried out by an independent expert, it was once again confirmed that the HPP reservoir belonging to Kok System Company (sludge purification station) fully corresponds to the measurements, no deviation from the architectural plan was found, the corresponding note was submitted to Tavush Regional Governor.
A study was carried out on the initiative of the regional administration in regard to the land and urban development dispute between Samvel Matinyan and "Coke System" LLC that arose in May2019. During the preliminary construction works, violations were allowed on both sides. Based on the results, a preliminary investigation is underway at RA Prosecutor's Office.
The flooding of the Aghstev River has been unprecedented since 1998, and similar situations exist elsewhere.
P.S. The traffic on the interstate road has been disrupted for a maximum of 5 minutes (not 1 hour), the culprits will be held accountable in accordance with RA legislation.”
It should be noted that "Kok" SHPP was put into operation in 2017. Although this SHPP has a significant impact on the transboundary Aghstev River, it has not undergone an environmental impact assessment, as according to RA Law on Environmental Impact Assessment and Expertise, SHPPs with a capacity of up to 1 MW do not undergo environmental expertise. In 2017, experts examined this SHPP as part of a program on small hydropower plants implemented by EcoLur. You can get acquainted with the results of the examination here.
11:13 May 11, 2020