A small hydropower plants (HPP) built on the Gegarot River. Photo by Samvel Pipoyan https://www.ecolur.org/ru/news/energy/vgegharotv-small-hpp-monitoring-results-photos/7521/

07 June 2019, 14:34

Armenian villagers threaten to change riverbed to stop two HPPs

The operation of two small hydropower plants (HPPs) built on the Gegarot River led to a deterioration of water quality. If the authorities fail to stop the HPPs, the river bed will be changed, local residents have threatened. 

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 17, more than a hundred people blocked the traffic along the Yerevan-Vanadzor highway, demanding to stop operation of two small HPPs built on the Gegarot River. On the same day, the highway was unblocked after the suspension of HPPs and the governor's promise to study the quality of the water used for irrigation. 

About 300 villagers gathered on June 6 and decided to change the riverbed in the water intake areas, Arbak Gasparyan, a resident of the village of Aragats, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. 

According to his story, problems with irrigation water began after the launch of small HPPs, and every year the situation has worsened. "The river source is already rich in iron and minerals. But the water, while descending along the channel, crashed into stones and got cleaner. The small HPPs intake water, releasing it into kilometre-long pipes; and, as a result, the water does not have time to get cleaner," the villager has explained. 

In late March this year, the operation of the small HPPs was suspended, but ten days later, they started working again, Mr Gasparyan has added. "We are already tired of protesting and blocking highways in anticipation of a stop of the HPPs. The only solution is to 'cut off' the water that feeds them. We've brought heavy equipment to the respective river sections in order to dig a new riverbed and direct river water to bypass the small HPPs. We won't touch their [HPP owners] property; we'll just ensure the inflow of normal water into the village," he has stressed. 

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 7, 2019 at 11:06 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

All news

September 19, 2019 10:57

  • Dagestan: Kurbanov brothers refuse to plead guilty of terrorism

    The brothers Ismail and Mukhtar Kurbanov from the Kayakent District of Dagestan joined an illegal armed formation (IAF), stored explosives, while the younger, Mukhtar, fought for the "Islamic State" (IS), a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation by the court in Syria, the prosecution has stated. The brothers have refused to plead guilty.

September 19, 2019 10:47

  • Opinion poll reveals paradox of Georgia's aspiration for NATO and nostalgia for USSR

    Most residents of Georgia support the course towards joining the European Union and the NATO, while 41% of them are negatively assessing the collapse of the USSR, sociologists assert. The Soviet period attracts people by a low level of officials' corruption and better operation of courts, while they associate joining the NATO with ensuring the country's security, political analysts believe.

September 19, 2019 10:24

September 19, 2019 09:59

  • Baku court commutes Ragimov's punishment

    A court in Baku has reduced the prison term of Ikram Ragimov, the editor-in-chief of the "Realliq.info" website, from 5.5 years to 3 years in prison. The defence intends to appeal against the ruling.

September 18, 2019 23:47

News archive