Neglect of the Serbian special nature reserve Uvac

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Uvac Special Nature Reserve is a natural asset of exceptional importance of the 1st category. The course of the river Uvac is blocked by dams that form three lakes Uvačko (Sjeničko), Zlatarsko jezero and Radoinjsko jezero. The beauty of this part of Serbia is breathtaking. But from carelessness and arrogant behavior towards nature, many, who are not immune to the destruction of such important natural sites, have their stomachs turned over.

Last spring and summer, they showed us how the average tourist from Serbia behaves, who adores nature and clean air and leaves garbage behind, in the same beautiful nature that he admires so much. Often the same profile of tourists decides to build a cottage, and judging by the illegal construction in protected areas, there are more and more of them. Beautiful photos from Uvac, which were buried by social networks last year, hide a much uglier background about systematic negligence. Wild construction on the shore itself has been a problem for decades on all three lakes on the Uvac River.

Radoinjsko Lake, from which the people of Priboj drink water, is adorned on the shore with catering facilities and a camper settlement without any communal order, not even a field toilet. It is not difficult to imagine what it looks like when locals and tourists come together in summer.

Demolitions in the reserve

Almost 14 years have passed, when in the summer of 2007, the then Minister Velimir Ilić said that there would be no demolition of illegal buildings in the Special Nature Reserve. Some institutions rebelled then – as the minister says, the law must be respected and it is the same for everyone. The problem of illegal construction in zone II (where construction is prohibited) was pointed out in the years before 2007. We point out today. The demolition of illegal buildings in the Uvac Special Nature Reserve became topical again in 2015, but then it was the least demolished and more legalized. The situation we find today on Zlatarsko and Radoinjsko lakes is the result of arrogance and party ties and ties. A staggering amount of ignorance, both from the representatives of institutions and from the world that builds, concretes, paves, pollutes without any awareness that nature is a gift that we owe to future generations.

Radoinjsko Lake, collateral damage of human stupidity

Radoinjsko Lake, which is the third largest accumulation lake on the Uvac River, together with the Uvac meadows, has become a popular tourist attraction. Especially last year when we visited Serbia because of the pandemic. These days, the lake has interested the public because of the questionable quality of the water that the people of Priboj drink. Water from Radoinjsko Lake is directed through large tunnels in the hill to the turbines of the hydroelectric power plant in Bistrica. There is an interruption in one place, where a drinking water intake was made for the Priboj water supply system.

Zeljko Jecmenica, director of the Priboj Public Utility Company “Usluga”, which is also in charge of water supply, told Danas that the belt around Radoinjsko Lake should be the first sanitary protection zone in which all activities, let alone construction, are prohibited.

The municipality of Priboj is supplied with water from Radoinjsko Lake, which has been a gathering place for rich campers for years, but recently the shore has a bar and a kiosk with fast food. As far as the rudeness of campers who set up caravans without permission and add terraces to them goes, he testifies that they sold them on, for figures of several thousand euros, as if it were personal land and not pure usurpation of the public good. All these facilities are on the coast. There is even a paved dirt road on the coast to facilitate access to cars, which makes this move look like a garage in the summer season.

In summer, when the lake is full of visitors, without regulated sanitary and hygienic conditions, it is clear that the lake and its shores are becoming the closest to the source of infection. The problem of systematic neglect has actually been present for a long time. For years, the lake was a drain for waste sewage from the village of Radoinja, until a couple of years ago they did not provide a collector for water purification. The villagers have been throwing waste in the tributary of Lake Radoin for more than a decade. Even the medical waste from the village ambulance ended up in the “Rikača” riverbed, as the locals call it, and eventually reached the lake.

Boat ban

Last year, a ban on the use of oil-powered boats was introduced on Zlatarsko and Uvački lakes, while a complete ban on boats, including inflatable ones, applies on Lake Radoinjsko. This new regulation was taken extremely seriously and professionally by the reserve officials, and in the summer, two years ago, in front of everyone on the shore, they forced a mother with two small children to “approach with a boat”, ie that children are not allowed to swim using a children’s mattress. inflatable. The ban on all vessels, which includes children’s inflatable mattresses, as the situation on the ground says, angered the locals who filed a complaint with the Ministry, but it was rejected. The ban on the use of boats, which mostly affects the local population, is the simplest move that seemingly takes into account the ecology of the Uvac Special Reserve and the protection of the griffon vulture habitat. The selective introduction of bans is a good solution when the ban on construction in protected zones cannot be implemented by the Ministry for almost two decades. As illegal construction in protected natural zones is a problem of the whole of Serbia, the implementation of this law on Uvac would raise the issue of illegal construction on Tara, Zlatibor, Kopaonik.



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