For the past two months villagers in twelve rural communities in the Aragatzotn Province have complained that they are going without water.
Two mini hydro-electric plants are the culprits. And now, there are plans to build a third.
Villagers say that plant operators are diverting the water of the Amberd River to turn the turbines of the two plants.
On April 30, the villagers closed the Yerevan-Gyumri road in protest.
Residents of the twelve affected communities say there is not enough water left for irrigation purposes.
On the day of the protest, the Aragatzotn Provincial Governor interceded and promised to look into the matter. But with summer soon approaching, water for irrigation will remain a top priority issue.
Orkovi village Mayor Arayik Manoukyan, where the two operating plants are located, says that a work permit for a third plant has been granted but that an operating license hasn’t.
The “Environmental Impact Assessment” SNCO told Hetq that the third plant had passed inspection.
However, when we asked to see the inspection results we were told to put the request in writing since it was a day before a holiday and that everyone in the office had gone home for the day. (It was only two in the afternoon –KA)
The company owning the plants is an outfit called Amberd Hek Ltd.
According to State Registry at the Ministry of Justice, Iranian citizen Pavriz Nosrat Alamdar owns 49% of the company’s shares.
Another 16% is owned by Robert Okhanyan. He operates two other Mini plants in the Haghpat village in Lori Province. His name cropped up in connection with plans to build a plant at the Trchkan Waterfall.
The remaining 30% is owned by Major-General Melsik Chilingaryan, Chief of the Department of Arms Control of the Armenian Armed Forces