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Rogun hydropower station can lead to dangerous catastrophe in Central Asia


Popular Russian public-political publication Federalnaya Gazeta (Federal Newspaper) published an article of chief editor Zulfiya Bonoeva “Rogun Project – catastrophe for Central Asia”.

The author raised actual issue on water use, construction of large hydropower stations at trans-boundary rivers, and its destructive impact to ecologic system of the region.

The article underlines that nature shows its character to humanity. Global climate change, natural and man-caused catastrophes, which cause to large number of victims, are evidence for it.

In this context, the author noted that construction of gigantic dam – Rogun hydropower station – at Vakhsh river, can lead to dangerous catastrophe for all region of Central Asia and create threat to life of 50 million people.

The paper cited Academician and honourable director of Institute of Seismology of the Science Academy of Tajikistan Sabit Negmatillaev, who said that there were earthquakes with magnitude of nine in Tajikistan territory, Karatag, in 1907, in Pamir in 1911 and in Hait in 1949, similar to that earthquake in Japan in March 2011. Academician forecasted that it is expected that in next ten years, there will be similar earthquake in Pamir-Hindu Kush mountain chain.

The article said that in case of earthquake, like in Japan, there will be sharp growth of tension at dam. It added that dam will not be able to stands such pressure and will fall, creating real tsunami. Break of dam will result in catastrophe in Central Asia, first of all, for Tajikistan. The catastrophe will also damage other waterworks facilities at Vakhsh cascade and flood large number of cities and settlements in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the article added.

The Russian paper said that in case of break of Rogun dam, the height of wave, which will rush down-stream, will make at least 100 meters and its destructive power will be higher than Japanese tsunami.

The article quoted expert of French Geopolitics Institute Pierre-Emmanuel Tommann, who said that construction of Utopian hydropower projects in Central Asia with large dam is unsufficiently considered in the view of consequences.

French expert said that intention of Tajikistan to construct Rogun hydropower station is extremely risky. He called all those, who realize this project, to listen to voice of sense and solve all issues based on general norms and principles of international law.

Construction of Rogun power station, the author underlined, can also negatively impact glaciers, which feed Vakhsh river.

At the end of the article, the author said that hydro power problem can be solved due to small hydro power stations, which will not change rivers-bed and their construction is more economically attractive.

UzDaily.com, 22 June 2011 

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