TBILISI, DFWatch – Aleksandre Khetaguri, Georgia’s minister for energy and natural resources says two controversial hydropower projects in the west of the country will be built and there is no alternative.

He had made this statement during question time in parliament Thursday.

The minister saud the construction of the Khudoni and Namakhvani dams started during the Soviet Union and now they are in such condition that they need to be built.

Khetaguri claims that both projects have had an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) conforming with international standards, and there will be public hearings. As for the population in those regions, according to the minister, they will be provided with alternative settlement.

“The construction of Khudoni hydropower station will probably begin in the coming year. We have announced the tender for the construction of the Namakhvani nearly a week ago. I hope that the construction will begin shortly after conducting a tender, because it’s the most studied object in terms of the ecologic impact on the environmet,” Khetaguri added.

According to parliament regulation government question time is held on the last Thursday in a month and a parliamentary faction can invite a minister, and must send appropriate questions to the minister ten days in advance.

The government question time was held on November 24 after an initiative from the Christian Democrats party. The ministers of health and energy answered questions.