ArmInfo.An alternative and renewable energy culture is being actively introduced in the villages of Armenia, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Suren Papikyan said this on July 18 at a government meeting, answering the question of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan about the possibility of using alternative sources against the background of yesterday's events in Ijevan.
On the evening of July 17 in Ijevan, Tavush region of Armenia, a group of sawmill workers blocked an interstate route leading to Georgia. The demonstrators demanded that they, as before, be allowed to cut wood. The police tried to push them off the highway, but the protesters began throwing stones at law enforcement officers. As a result of the clashes there are victims on both sides. In particular, 14 people were hospitalized.
According to Suren Papikyan, the introduction of renewable, including solar energy sources can be a real alternative to firewood. Suren Papikyan stressed that even the growth of solar panels on the roofs of villagers' houses is visually obvious. At the same time, the minister continued, work is continuing to provide non-gasified villages of the republic with hot water at the expense of renewable energy sources. As for the fears of residents of Ijevan to remain without work, then, as the minister noted, today there are 200 vacancies in various programs implemented in the Tavush region, including in the field of road construction. One company alone- "Araratdorstroy" is ready to employ several dozen people. In turn, the Minister of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia Erik Grigoryan stressed that various grant programs are currently being implemented, aimed at creating business opportunities for people living near forest areas. Projects of this kind are being implemented in Dilijan, on the territory adjacent to the Khosrov reserve. Several programs are being implemented in the Syunik region, which are aimed at the development of solar energy, the creation of a local agricultural market and others. Starting next week, the project starts in the Artik region. Thus, as Erik Grigoryan continued, through the socio-economic development of the regions an attempt is being made to reduce pressure on forests. It should be noted that according to the information of the organization "Armforest", since 2004, 31.7 thousand hectares of land have been illegally cut down in Armenia. At the same time, legally for the specified period of time 490 thousand cubic meters of wood were cut down, more than 1 million cubic meters of timber were sold.