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Impact Assessment of Mega Water Transfer Project

Impact Assessment of Mega Water Transfer ProjectImpact Assessment of Mega Water Transfer Project

To ensure the safety of cultural and historical sites, an impact assessment will be carried out on the mega project to transfer water from the Persian Gulf in the south to Kerman and Yazd provinces in central Iran.

Earlier this month, Alireza Sardari, chief rescue archeologist at the Research Institute of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism, said work on the controversial scheme had started before approval from the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, to which  RICHT is affiliated.

“Informed local sources tell us that the project has damaged some structures of historical significance in Hormozgan and Kerman,” he told ISNA.

According to law, large-scale construction projects must seek approval from the ICHHTO in order to protect historical sites and, if necessary, conduct rescue archeology, which is the collection of archaeological data and materials from a site in danger of imminent destruction.

To address the problem, a meeting was held this week between top executives of the Persian Gulf Water Supply Company (WASCO), which funds the project, and RICHT chief Muhammad Beheshti. WASCO agreed to provide the research institute with a thorough assessment of the project’s impact on historical sites, IRNA reported on Monday. The assessment will take ten days to complete.

Critics of the Persian Gulf water transfer project argue that it will mostly benefit the steel industry rather than ordinary residents and farmers.

In recent months respected economists have openly challenged former and present policy and decision makers and governments for building the huge steel plants far away from the seas and have said that the mills will have to close down simply because they are too water intensive and economically unsustainable.