After five months of appeals and attempts at reaching the Chairman of Foča Municipality there has still been nothing but silence; however, activists of Protect Foča Rivers association are not giving up. They have contacted the Municipality Chairman with yet another notice on laws violation regarding construction of small hydropower plants on Bjelava river.
Their notice refers to Rulebook on Measures of protection and procedures in defining, maintaining, and marking the areas of sanitary protection.
Near Lučka springs, which is endangered as a consequence of devastating the river, there are three zones of sanitary protection:
1. Zone of immediate protection
2. Zone of narrow protection
3. Zone of wider protection
Article 8 of the Law states that it is not permitted to build roads in the zone of immediate protection (for the purpose of ‘geological exploration’ a road was created within the zone of immediate protection). Furthermore, it is not permitted to transport harmful and dangerous matter, oil and oil derivatives, which is seen on the photographs published by the activists. The photographs show oil barrels in the zone of narrow protection.
Photo source Protect Foča Rivers website
Furthermore, Article 9 states that in the wider protection zone deforestation and other activities causing land erosions are not permitted.
Even though Foča Municipality Assembly recently adopted a decision on widening the zones of narrow protection in order to prohibit deforestation and prevent erosion and muddying of waters, the activists emphasize that these are hypocritical measures since the decision to widening the protection zone was adopted while at the same time there is no reaction to illegal activities in the area.
The activists have extended a call to all parties and political subjects, all public institutions, leaders and businessmen to raise their voice against the unreasonable activities occurring on the Bjelava river and affecting the city water supply and the lives of all residents.