Complete documental and legal mess (if not to say more) has been formed in regard with the construction of “Khachaghbyur-2” small HPP. The HPP us constructed by “Mega Energy” LLC in Tavush Rehion on the Khachaghbyur River. The river separates two villages – Yenoqavan and Getahovit. One small HPP “Khachaghbyur-1” has already been operating on the river. Yenoqavan villagers don’t know much about the first HPP, as it doesn’t touch upon their interests. But Getahovit residents have already felt the negative impact: the water is almost completely taken not via one, but two huge pipes. Along the road where pipes are laid, there are intense landslip processes, “Those who are familiar with this area, know the grounds – landslips and falling stones…The benign layer has been formed here for thousands of years. This is protective layer from landslips, but now it has been taken out and even protective barriers haven’t been put, we can’t understand whether or not geologists have worked here at all…how all this was possible?!!!...” the residents say. And now they want to construct the second small HPP. Its public hearings were held in Yenoqavan, but not in Geghahovit. “…In Yenoqavan a very narrow range of people gathered, but the village learnt, they started opposing to it…The Ministry posted the statement about hearings several hours before the hearings, and we don’t know anything about the risks, geological organizations can write whatever they want for the sake of money,” Yenoqavan residents say.
Village head Andranik Chbukhchyan, who signed the permitting documents for the construction, called back its signature on14.09.2012. “It will cause much damage to the neighboring village…I gave my consent for the land use, and not for the launch of construction in Getahovit. Realizing all this I made a decision, though late, to recognize the permits I issued on 12 June null and void,” he said.
“Mega Energy” Director Yerem Sargsyan said, “The decision of Yenoqavan Village Head is new for us. We heard it from you and at this moment we don’t have any answer. We have already invested huge amounts of money into the construction, but we want to understand the existing problems. What’s the damage and whether or not the villagers factually incurred any loss…State bodies have issued our documents and we haven’t done any spontaneous activities…We met with the community and held two public hearings… one with the locals of Yenoqavan and the other was in Yerevan…. While we didn’t hold any public hearinigs, but we did meet with the villagers… ”
Geghahovit villager: “On one side, they fill in documents and then turn up several times and try to present that as public hearings. But we didn’t give our consent, I will repeat your colleague’s words – if you don’t agree, we will construct whatever we want…”.
By the way, a strong opposition has been formed in Yenoqavan towards to “Khachaghbyur-2” project by a group of people who develop local active and rural tourism. This direction is new for Armenia and is a perspective for people who live in remote regions. Almost nobody supports them and they start the whole process from the very beginning. As they assure, the cascade of HPPS on the Khachaghbyur River will become a big obstacle to the tourism.
09:58 September 21, 2012