YEREVAN, February 27. /ARKA/. Armenian Nature Protection Minister Aram Harutyunyan denied today Prosperous Armenia party's allegation that the water cutoff at Araratcement plant owned by the party leader, Gahik Tsarukyan, was the authorities' retaliation for Tsarukyan's speech at the party's seventh congress, where he criticized the country's leadership.
He told journalists after today's Cabinet meeting that the fuss made over this episode was groundless.
“There is absolutely no political motives in our actions, and the water cutoff was caused by exploration of drainage systems,” he said. “I can say that appropriate specialists and the plant’s administration, along with us, are scrutinizing papers now.”
It was reported earlier that the plant was left without technical water round the clock, and now the minister stressed that the plant was without water only half-day and that the ministry has a document signed by the plant's representatives stating that the plant's work is not hampered by such cutoffs.
Besides, Harutyunyan said that the process of checking water-consumption indicators started yet in December 2013, and therefore it is senseless to connect it to some political processes.
«This was a test cutoff for some purposes,» he said. «We are conducting monitoring before the beginning of sowing season to avoid water-related problems. We received yet in December confirmation that the plant was not carrying out industrial activity. Besides, the plant had the term of its water usage license expired and it is not prolonged so far.» The minister added that the license term can be prolonged, if necessary.
He stressed that the monitoring in Ararat province has been prompted by nonconformity of volumes of water consumption with the plant’s needs. “Figures differ from each other several hundreds of times, and therefore we have decided to monitor water consumption.”.-0---