Makiško polje

Belgrade’s largest source for drinking water supply, Makiško polje, is in danger

Makiško polje

A group of civil society organizations and experts warns the public that the future of Makiško polje, the area where Belgrade’s largest source of drinking water supply is located- is in danger. A complete urbanization of this area is being planned without prior public discussion followed by numerous violations of laws and regulations.

Namely, a public insight into the Draft Plan for Detailed Regulation of the Part of Makiško Polje is underway, as well as a Report on the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Plan. The future of the area where the largest source of drinking water supply is located (from which most of the capital’s households are supplied) has been planned without prior discussion about the development of this area, which is of great importance.

We consider this plan to be in direct conflict with the basic needs of the citizens of Belgrade, especially in terms of drinking water supply, protection of drinking water sources and groundwater protection. A radical adaptation of the terrain that is extremely unfavorable for construction has been announced, along with the conversion of land use from agricultural to construction purpose (commercial zones and mixed city centers).

The plan predicts the relocation of the “Bele Vode” drinking water treatment plant with a flow capacity of 600 l/s. According to the conditions provided by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, it is necessary to either relocate the warehouse with 6 tons of chlorine within this complex or suspend the further development of this planning document.

The planning document also envisages the complete conversion of the existing agricultural land into construction land, i.e. the reduction of publicly owned agricultural land, which now occupies approximately 60% of the total area, i.e. 425.38 hectares – down to zero percent! Such conversion of agricultural land is neither in accordance with the Law on Agricultural Land, nor the documentation contains the necessary consent of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management.

In order to achieve all of this, drastic additional investment and construction work is needed. Communal infrastructure, new collectors and a sewerage network that would have to serve the entire urban complex are all necessary, and placed mostly outside the spatial coverage of the plan. Protection from groundwater and surface water is also necessary, which includes, among other things, burying reclamation canals and covering the whole area with approximately 13.5 million cubic meters of sand, which is an intervention that corresponds to the cost of 95 million euros – allocated from the public budget.

Citizens interested in this plan can send their comments by mail until Friday, November 27, 2020 to the address of the Secretariat for Urbanism and Construction Affairs, Secretariat for Urban Planning, Department for Urban Plans, Kraljice Marije 1 / IX, 11000 Belgrade.

We consider the entire plan harmful, and there must be a prior broad public discussion on the future of this area, therefore we invite everyone to submit their comments, since a public debate on this urban plan is scheduled for December 15, the right of participation for which will be granted only to those who have previously sent a comment.

Center for Cultural Decontamination, Center for Emancipation Policies, Ministry of space, Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own, Organization for Political Ecology PolEcol, Right to Water, RERI, WWF Adria-Serbia.

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