VIDEO+PHOTO | The Sharplanin rivers have become brooks, the hydropower plants mercilessly take the water

Photo: Sloboden pechat/Zoran Dimovski

The Šarplanina area is already protected by law, but nature is not. In the National Park "Shar Planina" there are 13 hydropower plants built mainly on the Leshnička and Pena rivers as well as on the Vejačka river.

Vejačka Reka/ Photo: Sloboden pechat/Zoran Dimovski

But according to the National Park, the power plants do not release the biological minimum of water into the riverbeds, which causes irreparable damage to biodiversity, especially to the fish world.

In addition to not releasing the biological minium to the water, once they are built, the owners of the hydro plants do not return them the locations,in original condition.

A classic example is the hydropower plants on the Vejačka River, where the river bed was destroyed, and an access road was built in its place, which was used by construction machinery while the power plants were being built. However, despite the legal norms, the location has not been restored to its original state.

Vejačka Reka/ Photo: Sloboden pechat/Zoran Dimovski

A large part of the river's water resource ends up in pipes that are underground. So instead of the water being discharged into the riverbed after the electricity is passed through it, it ends up in other pipes from another hydropower plant, adds the institution.

Now, instead of rivers recognizable by their large volume, there are streams and springs on Shara.

From the Shar Mountain National Park, they say that the stones and rocks left after the construction activities when the hydropower plants were built, may one day end up in the city.

- In a few years, it depends when it comes to us, these stones that we see by this river, one day they will come to the city of Tetovo. Of course here the river is not in this angle as you see it here and there is a minimum of water in the river from the springs that are below the hydro plant. What do I want to emphasize? That they do not respect the norm or the biological minimum that should be in the river itself, says Ibrahim Dehari, director of the Shar Mountain National Park.

Dehari says that other institutions of the system must react as soon as possible, otherwise there is a high risk of landslides.

Let's not allow the floods that also caused human casualties to repeat themselves, he adds.

– For example above Golema Recica where we had floods several years ago, the situation with the river is similar, even worse. That's why I appeal to the locations to return to their original state and to take measures to move those big stones that are in the river and to make the river in a normal and natural state, says the director of the Shar Mountain National Park, Ibrahim Dehari.

There are 13 hydropower plants on the Sharplanin massif. Eleven of them are in operation, while two were started to be built before Shara was declared a National Park.

Director Dehari says that the fight will continue and will not allow the continuation of construction activities for the completion of the two power plants because it is a protected area, and any activity in the National Park brings more state than benefit.

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