Backlash against Bosnian Basketball Star's power plant

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Source: N1/Ilustracija

Protests were stages against the construction of a small hydroelectric power plant (HPP) on the river Doljanica, in the southern town of Jablanica. The investor is the former Bosnian NBA basketball star Mirza Teletovic.

The construction of this HPP would destroy the true developmental opportunities of this local community, which are fly-fishing, sports fishing, camping in nature and the development of sustainable tourism,” Dzenan Sasic, said on behalf of Jablanica protestors.

Dozens of Jablanica, Fojnica, Kruscica, Konjic, Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar residents gathered for the protection of this river.

“The right to access to water is given to private investors for the production of electricity, but denied to local communities that came to be exactly of the availability of water,” Anes Podic from Eco-Action Sarajevo said. “Private interest is presented as public, and thus concessions are granted from which only individuals benefit, while nature and the local population suffer the consequences.”

 Doljanka river is the right tributary of the Neretva River in the south of the country and is 18 kilometres long. It is located in the area of the mountains of Cvrsnica and Prenj, which were planned to become part of a National Park.

None of the villagers was informed about the construction project on this river. After they learned this information, the inhabitants organized a petition against the HPP project, which was signed by as many as 95 percent of them.

Mirza Teletovic is a former Bosnian professional basketball player who spent six seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US where he played for the Brooklyn Nets, the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.