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Illegally Constructed Platform for Alkali Treatment in Sakdrisi


Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

Nobody had issued permission on the construction of Platform for Alkali Treatment in Sakdrisi though it is functioning. Environmental organizations provided the Ministry of Environment with the information about the platform in August, 2013. However, nothing has changed yet and the platform still functions. On November 22, Green Alternative requested clarifications about the issue at the meeting on the Sakdrisi case at the Environmental Ministry.

Head of the Unit for Issuing Permissions on Environmental Projects got surprised when asked why the Ministry did not react on the illegal constructions. “We contacted the Supervision Service and they promised to study the situation on the ground and fine the company. As for our unit, we did not know anything about the ongoing construction,” said Tamar Sharshidze, head of the Unit for Issuing Permissions on Environmental Projects at the Ministry.

Ore is treated with cyanide on the Platform. Environmentalists say the procedure might seriously damage the environment.

Representatives of the Green Alternative say the necessary communication between the service units of the Ministry does not exist. The basis of their allegation is their unresponded letter sent to the Supervision Service in August. Nino Gujaraidze, director of the Green Alternative, said in August they learned from one of the expeditions of the National Environmental Agency that RMG had launched construction of the platform for treating the ore. “We sent letter to the person responsible for issuing public information at the Ministry. They replied the correspondence was forwarded to the Supervision Service. Then we directly applied to the Supervision Service wondering whether the construction was stopped but we could not get reply. Last week, we directly communicated to the Minister but could not get information again,” Gujaraidze said and added that the Ministry should be more attentive about the case because technological treatment of the ore is very dangerous for the environment.

Green Alternative believes that RMG shall be fined for illegal construction and the Ministry shall select alternative form for the exploitation of the aforementioned platform, which will have much less negative impact on the environment. “We should not focus on what is profitable for the company, instead the Ministry shall care to cause least damage and risks for the environment,” the executive director of the Green Alternative said. 
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