Opposition MPs join local protest against construction at levee

Fonet/Marko Dragoslavić

Opposition MPs joined local residents in a riverside part of New Belgrade to try to prevent the construction of a water supply line through a levee which experts say is against the law.

City Water Supply communal company workers appeared in the Savski Nasip neighborhood digging a trench towards the levee to provide water supplies to floating restaurants which are alleged to be owned by people close to the authorities. Local residents stopped them and the Communal Militia was called in. The levee is part of a protected area where construction of any kind is banned under the law.

Experts and opposition politicians said that a temporary permit was issued for the work but that the construction crew should not have been sent out before the city authorities approved the construction plan.

Local residents protested overnight with some of them trying to fill in the trench. The police were called in to stop them.

On Thursday, opposition MPs tried to prevent workers from unloading and setting up a metal fence. A police cordon stopped the MPs from approaching the trucks carrying the fence. A video showed the police standing in front of individual MPs while workers unloaded the fence. None of the police answered questions from the opposition politicians.