The much-disputed oil pipeline that is to go from Bratislava to Schwechat in Austria will not go through the nature reserve of Zitny ostrov. the original plans for the pipeline route put this route as the most feasible, but it would run through an area containing Slovakia’s largest reserves of drinking water, and one which is home to rare flora and fauna.
Even the consideration of the pipeline taking this route met with public disgust and was the subject of various demonstrations and petitions by environmental groups and other interest groups.
Minister of Economy and Construction, Juraj Miskov, put the problem to sleep yesterday, though, with his announcement: “A clear ‘thumbs down’ to the route going through Zitny ostrov is not only included in the election programme of the SaS party [which he is a member of], but also in the Government Manifesto. This means that for me as Minister of Economy and Construction, I can guarantee that the oil pipeline will not go through Zitny ostrov”.
He made the announcement following a meeting with people from the civil association ‘No to the Pipeline Through Zitny Ostrov’, which is happy with the news, but which still has concerns over the company Transpetrol, which is to build the pipeline.
Miskov explained that there are four potential routes for the pipeline, but he was not in a position to specify yet which alternative is most likely as the options are still being assessed. He did say, though, that together with the company Transpetrol they would be informing the public about the selected plans in a short time.