The battle for the rule of law, a clean environment and clean drinking water is currently being waged in the C0 water conservation area. Everything that the non-governmental organisations have been shouting about all along has turned out to be nothing but empty promises. They were only interested in power, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves against the practically totalitarian police force. “A man had his face pushed to the ground in the middle of winter – this is horrifying! Indescribable! It is the year 2022, this is the time of Freedom (“Svoboda” in Slovenian), with two S-es before it,” the former MP of the Slovenian Democratic Party, Mojca Škrinjar, was appalled at what is happening.
What has been going on in the C0 water conservation area recently? The construction of a common sewage network through the conservation area is continuing, to everyone’s ridicule. However, a handful of locals and landowners who will not allow the sewage system to be built on their plots without the proper permits are resisting it.
The police abused their powers, contractors failed to show the necessary permits for the work, and they were completely disrespectful to the landowners
“Today, the police, by stating that they are ‘assisting’ in the start of the measurements for the new excavation, in my opinion grossly abused all their powers, in the name of assistance, as they forcibly and roughly detained a man, a landowner, who was sitting on his private land, next to his trailer. They pushed him to the ground, handcuffed him and took him to their police van,” Škrinjar said in horror, and then explained that the reason for their unacceptable behaviour was the demands of the landowners and others who were present that the contractors and representatives of the Municipality of Ljubljana show them the documents and permits for measuring and excavation. “They did not show any documents, so we believe that there actually are no documents and that they do not have a valid building permit for the excavation.” When the owners asked to see the documents or the permit for measuring, the contractors shamelessly replied that “the landowners should file a lawsuit against them, since they are walking on their land”!
One of the landowners was also arrested for not leaving his land when the contractors wanted to start digging but refused to show him any documentation to prove that they were allowed to do so. “The C0 sewage pipe! This is Freedom – the prison of Slovenians,” former city councillor Mojca Škrinjar wrote. Dear citizens, this is the new “freedom” that the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) and the other coalition parties promised us before the elections.
Škrinjar: a sewage pipe cannot run across the water catchment area!
“The matter is truly horrific,” said Škrinjar, explaining that the Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, planned the C0 sewage pipe by considering each plot individually along the entire route, which allowed him to avoid the legal requirements of having to obtain an environmental impact assessment, which is what the former Minister of the Environment, Andrej Vizjak, requested in 2020. At the time, the latter explained to Škrinjar regarding the excavation of the C0 canal for the sewage pipe that “in order to complete the C0 canal, the investor (i.e. the Municipality of Ljubljana) will have to obtain an amendment to the construction permit, and as part of this process, an environmental impact assessment will also have to be carried out, taking into account all the applicable regulations. The Slovenian Environment Agency has already decided in a preliminary procedure that an environmental impact assessment will be a requirement to obtain the construction permit. This assessment procedure will consequently process all possible technical solutions and conditions for the location of the C0 canal in the Ljubljana groundwater collection area.”
According to the former MP Škrinjar, Janković does not have the environmental impact assessment, and even if an environmental impact assessment was carried out on the entire route, Škrinjar claims that “a sewage pipe simply cannot run across the water catchment area!” adding that this is a sewer system that not a single house in the vicinity needs, “and the solution is clear: we should have built a sewage treatment plant that stands before the water conservation area,” she said.
Where are the Institute of the 8th of March and other human rights organisations now?
Internet users are now wondering where the fierce fighter Nika Kovač, who was fighting the holy war for water just a year ago, has disappeared to. Where are all those civil society organisations, such as the Institute of the 8th of March (Inštitut 8. marec), that fought so fiercely to put “the fate of water in our hands”? Were all their efforts in vain?