Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Debate over Komarnica hydroelectric project sparks divergent perspectives

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A protest camp to protect the Komarnica River is underway from May 1st to 5th. Located in the village of Duži near Šavnik, it has attracted numerous activists aiming to highlight the potential drawbacks of constructing a hydroelectric power plant on the Komarnica. Despite this, the majority of locals are in favor of the project.

Milorad Lako Vilotijević, a resident of Duži, voiced the support of most Šavnik citizens for the hydroelectric plant’s construction. He cited several reasons for this stance, including Šavnik’s status as one of Montenegro’s least developed areas, where any investment, especially one as significant as a hydroelectric plant, would be beneficial. He believes it would bring improvement to villages like Duži and Dubrovsko, creating employment opportunities, improving roads, and providing access to water. Vilotijević also argued that the planned submersion area of the canyon lacks significant biodiversity.

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However, not all locals share this perspective. Miljko Bulajić, known as Gigo, a kayaker and tourist guide, is among those protesting against the hydroelectric plant’s construction. He highlighted environmental and practical concerns, suggesting that promises of infrastructure development no longer suffice in the 21st century. Bulajić acknowledged the potential energy benefits of the dam but emphasized the availability of alternative solutions. He expressed confidence that the dam would not be built, pointing to previous commitments.

Bulajić emphasized the river’s significant tourism potential, evidenced by tourists awaiting the opportunity to kayak down the canyon. He criticized the current strategy, asserting that Montenegro’s natural beauty should be preserved and utilized for tourism rather than exploited for hydroelectric purposes.

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Despite differing opinions among locals, Bulajić believes that focusing on tourism rather than hydroelectric power could bring greater benefits to the community in the long run.

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