SHPPs led to an ecocide in the Tara River, the most beautiful river in the Balkans3. August 2020. /
Due to the earlier devastation of Tara, UNESCO reacted in July 2019 and expressed concern in the report of the World Heritage Committee. In the Progress Report of Montenegro 2019, the European Commission recommended a stricter attitude to Podgorica in case of negative impacts of the construction of the highway on the river Tara.
The bed of the river Tara has been endangered in one part since last year by construction works on the section of the highway from Podgorica to Kolasin, which is being performed by the Chinese company CRBC.
“Tear of Europe” – the river Tara, otherwise blue-green, is polluted these days. Throughout its course to the confluence with the Drina, the Tara was completely cloudy, brown or almost white, depending on which part of the stream it is, which could be seen in the photos that went around social networks. Environmentalists, NGOs and part of the Montenegrin opposition claim that the river is muddy due to the construction of small hydro-power plants on its tributaries. They accused the state of allowing the ecocide.
The non-governmental Coalition for Sustainable Development (KOR) reported to UNESCO the latest, as they stated, ecocide on the Tara River. They point out that Tara, whose canyon is under the protection of UNESCO, was constantly muddy during July, and that these days, all the way to the mouth of the Drina, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is completely muddy.
Noting that in previous months or years, numerous NGOs and individuals have filed reports with environmental and communal inspections, the KOR states that the devastation of Tara is not stopping, but is intensifying.
“In addition to works on the highway, the construction of mini hydropower plants (SHPPs) on the tributaries of the Tara and access roads to them, leads to leaching of thousands of tons of gravel, earth and waste into the riverbed resulting in an unprecedented ecocide – killing fish and wildlife.” they said from KOR.
As they say, they sent photo and video recordings of the destruction of the river to UNESCO, and the same material will be forwarded to the EU delegation in Montenegro.
On the occasion of the ecocide on Tara, the non-governmental organization Green Home also announced that Tara has “six different levels of protection, and that in addition to the World Natural Heritage, it also belongs to locations of importance for European wildlife and natural habitats.”
“The arrogant violation of legal regulations on Tara has exceeded every measure and the river is dying out. Everyone who contributed to this situation must be held accountable, which is why we appeal for the suspension of works until the responsibility of the perpetrator is determined and the damage done, “said Green Home.
The environmental movement “Ozon” posted pictures of the blurred Tara on the Facebook page from the location “Spavište” below Mojkovac, near the bridge on Tara. They assume that Tara was blurred by the construction material, which is created during the construction of SHPPs on the rivers that flow into Tara or during the construction of the highway.
“We have submitted an initiative for inspection supervision to the Inspectorate for Inspection Affairs. We expect feedback on the facts and the measures taken, “said Ozon.
The opposition political party URA also dealt with the pollution of Tara.
“The tear of Europe now is a puddle, which is the final act in the devastation of what we have left as the only value and wealth of the state – natural beauties, and someone will respond very quickly because of that,” the URA said.
They requested an urgent reaction from the inspection bodies and determination of the cause of the turbidity of the river, stating that they would inform the party international – Green Europe, of which URA is a member, about the incident.
URA reminded that UNESCO has already stated in the report due to the construction of the highway that the Tara River is endangered by construction works.
“It is more than clear that the turbidity was most likely caused by the current construction of small hydroelectric power plants on the tributaries of the Tara River and that it is another unusual scandal over the devastation of natural resources of all Montenegrin citizens,” the URA said.
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