Clashes between protesters and policemen in Birkiani, Georgia, April 21, 2019. Photo: REUTERS / Ekaterina Anchevskaya

25 April 2019, 11:34

Meeting of local residents speaks against HPP construction in Pankisi

At a meeting convoked in the village of Djokolo, residents of the Pankisi Gorge spoke against the construction of a chain of hydropower plants (HPPs) in the gorge, as well as against the detention of their fellow villagers, who had taken part in clashes with the police.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 21, in Georgia, several hundreds of residents of the Pankisi Gorge gathered for a spontaneous rally in the village of Birkiani in the Akhmeta District to prevent the planned construction of the small "Khadori-3" HPP. During the protest action, clashes occurred between protesters and law enforcers.

The above meeting was held on April 24. The participants discussed an action plan aimed to suspend the construction and the events of April 21. The meeting spoke against the construction and supported their fellow villagers who took part in clashes with law enforcers, the "Georgia Online" reports.

The meeting lasted for about three hours; the villagers have rejected any possibility of a dialogue with the authorities on the construction of a new HPP on the Alazani River, the "Echo of the Caucasus" reports.

"Minister Gakhariya has promised us that HPPs will be built only if 90 percent of the respective population give their consent. We hereby declare that we are against the construction; and there will be no negotiations on this issue," the Georgian Channel One quotes Zaur Bagakashvili, a local resident, on its website.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 25, 2019 at 07:28 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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