Residents of the Strpce municipality, both Serbs and Albanians, have been protesting for months against the construction of a mini hydroelectric power plants in this municipality. The ”Matkos Group” continues with the construction, while the locals want to preserve the nature of the national park they live in.
Approximately two hundred Serbs and Albanians, with the support of GAIA members from a dozen countries around the world, organized another protest yesterday. The protest took place in the areas of Durlov Potok and Berevacki Potok (potok – ”mountain spring”) located within the National Park of the Sara Mountain.
”They want to usurp two streams, tributaries of the Lepenac river located at the Ski Center, at 1700 meters above sea level, which are an attraction in Sara and they also supply the drinking water sources,” a local resident, Ivan Milosavljevic told KoSSev on Sunday.
The construction has been underway for some time and plenty of damage has already been done – they stressed.
The protestors underlined that the works being carried out are illegal because they are executed in the national park area, while the competent institutions are remaining silent.
Locals emphasized they know that ”one stone cannot be moved” in a national park. They complain that the company used bulldozers to dig through the streams from which the locals get their drinking water, which soon caused the water to turn brown.
”In this area, no paper means anything, since the Sar Mountain belongs to the international community of national parks and without their consent, there is no chance that they could get a permit,” Milosavljevic said.
However, he added that he is aware ”nothing can be done” because ”laws are being violated”.
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