Governor allows HES construction in spite of court order, alleging ‘natural disaster risks’
GİRESUN – Doğan News Agency
Activists organize a protest againts the contruction of a hydroelectric plant in the nearby district of Dereli in the Black Sea province of Giresun, Aug. 3. DHA PhotoA hydroelectric plant (HES) construction in the Black Sea province of Giresun will continue for three more months despite a court order for a stay of execution, after a decision from the governor who alleged that stopping works could increase risks of landslides and avalanches. Activists, however, denounced the decision as a trick to bypass the provisional order for the suspension of the construction, pending the environmental impact assessment report (ÇED) for the plant.
Works for the plant planned on the Büyükdere stream in the Keşap district began after the green light was given by the Governor’s Office, which holds the authority on whether or not to demand a ÇED after a controversial regulation issued last February.
But an administrative court has ruled the project might have irreparable damages on nature and a ÇED report was thus necessary following the lawsuit opened by local activists.
“Since the beginning of the trial, we had already been stressing that construction could result in landslides, as the possibilities of avalanches would increase due to the properties of the terrain, causing massive safety risks for the inhabitants of the region” said Remzi Kazmaz, the lawyer who represents the locals.
Kazmaz said although based on an expert report, the governor’s decision to allow three more months of construction to remove those problems was not acceptable.
“The Governor’s Office has given a visa despite a court order and without a second court decision. This means cheating the law when the court’s decision was to stop all construction,” he said during a press conference Aug. 5.
Kazmaz added they were ready to launch new legal action against the governor’s decision.
Dozens of HES projects are ongoing, while scores have already been built on small streams across the country, jeopardizing the environment, and in many of the cases, protected natural areas.
A forum will be organized in the village of Boğazkere in the southern province of Mersin on Aug. 16-17 by local activists and with the participation of legal experts to plan concerted actions in the country.