Branislav Bozovic, a groundwater expert, said on Nov. 22 that it is the duty of all Belgrade citizens to stop the current authorities from developing the Makis fields -- the capital's main water source -- into a 4.5 million-square-meter residential and business complex and subway depot.
Bozovic, who spent years as Belgrade's city secretary for environmental protection, told BETA that any construction at Makis would leave Belgraders without drinking water. According to him, the Makis field is not only the capital's sole source of healthy water, but has been in operation for 130 years, maintained and improved by Europe's leading hydrologists for decades.
Stating that any development on site will unequivocally pollute the Makis spring, Bozovic explained that environmentalists do not discuss "lethal dosages" but rather "gradual death."
"No one will fall ill from five glasses of water from a polluted water source. But if they are forced to drink such water for a prolonged time, death is inevitable. Hence, any construction at the Makis field will endanger the health of all Belgraders," Bozovic said.
That Belgrade's local government has decided to turn the Makis field into one big construction site is a crime against the people, Bozovic stated, stressing that, for Belgrade, "the defense of Makis is a matter of life or death."
According to him, the construction of a subway in the capital has been considered for decades, yet never before has anyone suggested building a terminal station at Makis. "There are no residential structures at Makis, and it is debatable when - or if at all - the apartment complex with thousands of units will be erected. It is much more likely that Belgraders will prevent such construction. Regardless, the government is spending enormous funds from the budget unchecked, because at the root of this project is nothing but [someone's] personal interest," Bozovic concluded.