George Ioramashvili, Mtskheta-Mtianeti
The construction of a hydroelectric station, which began in 2011 in the Dariali ravine, probably will change the ravine’s look. By new project river-bed of Tergi will change almost by 8 kilometers, before Tergi was running from borough of Stepantsminda till Larsi.
To be more specific, a 110 MW installed capacity hydropower plant will be constructed in Dariali. The project includes an approximately 8 km long section of the river water 90 % to flow under a diversion pipeline and a subsequent inclusion in the diversion tunnel. The 8km tunnel in which Tergi should pass is in the southern slope of mountain. By this tunnel the river will flow to Dariali hydroelectric station. A project’s banner informs us it should be finished in December of 2013.
In Tergi, the old ravine where the river was running before the project, a little amount of water would be left. By nature protectors in Tergi say this project would dry the river out and change the nature completely. It is also possible that by these actions, Kalmakhi that is in a Red book, may become extinct. At the same time, the river bed and the artificial change of the tunnel may lead to an awareness of the Tergi level due to materials brought down by river. After that people living nearby the river will be in danger. Especially under risk will be the village of Fansheti of Stepantsminda administration, which is on the left bank of river Tergi.
Kvareli district people face the same problem because the river Durujis changed river bed brings inert materials that can cause mudflow. But the difference is that in Kvareli the situation isn’t due to power plant station construction.
The Stepantsminda plant under construction in the municipality of Kazbegi protected areas and will be located on several acres. This is in direct violation of the law on environmental protection therefore for the construction to be legal the parliament amended changes in law. Nature protectors think that Stepantsminda municipality, one of the most important monuments, Kazbegi National Park, may be in danger.
In pre-election campaigns political parties do not mention ecological problems, and mostly talk about social issues. But these kinds of project scan bring ecological problems which will affect social lives.
Only nature protectors and small environmentalist groups think about ecological problems. July 16 were it is supposed that power plant will be built nongovernmental organization “Green Alternative” and “Stepantsminda” held meeting “Save Tergi and Dariali”
These two organizations want the government and the company Darial Energy to stop building hydrostations until it is understood what amount of water should be left in the river to keep the landscape in safe, as well a minimal impact on cultural, ethnographical,touristic values.