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Study of the cleaning works in Lake Sevan water-covered coastal areas

02.06.2015
On 15.05.2015 Gavar Aarhus Center applied with N AA-006 request to the RA Ministry of Nature Protection to get information on the existence of “Water master classic 3” device, and about its cleaning works around Lake Sevan water-covered coastal areas.(see the request by the following link). The Ministry of Nature Protection not only responded to the request (the response at this link), referring to the questions point by point, but also suggested Gavar Aarhus Center Coordinator to visit jointly the mentioned territories, to see the cleaning works of the coastal areas by “Watermaster Classic 3″ device.

Recently we visited two areas Tsovak of Vardenis region, where the works were carried out in the water and Noratus area, where the works were carried out on the land. The cleaning works of the forests that are at under the risks of being flooded by water as a result of Lake Sevan water level increase are being carried out in Tsovak and Noratus communities. Mr. Ararat Kocharyan, director of “Chambarak RCEE” OJSC, that carries out the cleaning works, said that 43 hectares of foresting areas in Noratus and 50 hectares in Tsovak were cleaned from trees, roots and other plant coexistences up to May 27.

150 hectares are planned to be cleaned in 2015, 108 hectares of which in Vardenis and 42 hectares in Noratus. The cleaning works were carried out by half in the last three months. 15 hectares are planned to be cleaned from the mentioned surface with the use of “Watermaster classic 3” device spending 1.2 million AMD per each hectare, total 179.2 million AMD. The works are being carried out both in water and marshes and also in non water-covered areas. Third device is planned to be added on the two clening devices floating on the water. 2 root removing bulldozers, 2 excavators, and 4 tracks transporting the root removed trunks and plant remains work in the marshes and on the land. “The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, but I think that with these technical means and staff it will be able to complete the work before the deadline”, said Mr. Ararat Kocharyan. The company has invested technical measures for the cleaning works, that are the result of engineering innovations, fully customized for working in such difficult terrains.

“The works are more difficult in the water and in the marshes. If we didn’t apply such root removing, loading and other operating devices, it would be more difficult to implement cleaning works of big volumes in such a short period of time”, added Mr. Ararat Kocharyan. Mr. Grisha Baghdasaryan, head of the RA MNP PIU Budget projects implementation unit, highly and positively assessed the quality and the dynamics of the cleaning works. A s a result of Lake Sevan water increase wastes caused by the cleaning of already water-covered or at the risks of being water-covered artificial forests have long been causing serious environmental problems. According to Mr. Vardan Tovmasyan, chief specialist of the RA MNP PIU Budget projects implementation unit, the trunks of the root removed trees and other plant remains comprise a large mass and cause another environmental pollution. “The forest cleaning implementing company cuts and removes the trunks and firewood, and other plant wastes far from the lake coastal areas, possibly to unusable areas, but their piles already make unsightly and pollute the environment which seriously concerns both the environmentalists and the local residents”, noted Mr. Vardan Tovmasyan. In his opinion, the best way out is to organize production of biofuels based on raw materials and waste, which will solve both the environmental problem and the problem of providing people with cheap and readily available fuel. “We estimated that 5 thousand cubic meters of clump roots and wastes is formed form the cleaning of Sevan coastal areas per year, which is difficult to be used by the residents even in free conditions. The problem of cheap fuel and the environmental cleaning problem will be solved in case of biofuel production. The project was submitted to the Minister of Nature Protection for approval, biofuel production is expected to be organized by international financial organizations”, said Mr. Vardan Tovmasyan.

According to the paragraph 9 of the Aarhus Center request, that’s “whether the improper cleaning works were recorded in the water-covered areas or in the areas that are at the risk of being flooded, the response was, “No, there was not”, We witnessed root piles as a result of cleaning works carried out in the previous years on different places of Gavar-Vardenis road, which were not prescribed for these areas.

This question will always remain under the focus of Gavar Aarhus Center, and will be regularly visits will be organized to Lake Sevan water-covered coastal areas.

Lianna Asoyan
Coordinator of Gavar Aarhus Center
Translated by Marine Mazmanyan