“Fresh Air for Children” – Protest Rally in Kaspi
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli
“Restore our right to breath”, “Our streets without cement-transporting trucks”, “government shall support people,” “fresh air for children” – with these slogans, on February 5, protest demonstration was carried out in Parnavaz King Street in Kaspi.
The demonstrators requested resolution of several problems immediately. One of their major requests was to wash the cement-transporting trucks before they leave the initial places to decrease the amount of the cement dust when they are moving along the streets in the town. The demonstrators said the trucks are passing by their houses and leave dust behind them.
“Our request is to water the street and repair infrastructure. Summer is approaching and if these problems are not resolved, the children will not overcome this situation,” the organizer of the demonstration Ani Khargelia said.
The locals said the quakes caused by the movement of trucks damage their houses on daily basis.
“Let them pay attention to us and let us live in peaceful and safe environment,” demonstrator Lena Dvalidze said.
As the protesters said, number of the diseases caused by the cement dust has increased; they observed cases of asthma too.
“Movement of trucks, which transport the cement, that causes shaking of the houses and noise in the area, is particularly unbearable during night hours; sometimes we cannot go to sleep at all. We cannot open windows because of the cement dust from the factory that is aggravated by the movement of cement-transporting trucks and consequently we live in unbearable conditions. A child of our neighbor has asthma because of that; majority of the neighbors have problems of pains in the throat,” Lela Mamulashvili said.
Kaspi municipality governor Gocha Gochitashvili told humanrights,ge that the problem exceeds the King Parnavazi Street because the trucks loaded with the cement go through the entire Kaspi town.
“We have discussed this problem with the administration of the factory. According to our agreement, initially the trucks shall be washed and then leave the factory. We also started discussion about alternative road which will go far from the residential areas and the scope of the problems will be reduced. One of the problems is that the trucks are loaded with more than allowed amount of cement that damages the road infrastructure. We discuss all problems with the management of the Heidelberg Cement, which invests 200 million GEL and we have to find best solution of the problem not to leave either parties dissatisfied,” said the municipality governor.
The demonstrators elaborated a petition, which was delivered to the KaspiCement factory but the administration did not accept it.
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