Organizations gathered around the Environmental Uprising announced today that they will file criminal charges against those responsible in Belgrade, if they do not inform the citizens of all relevant data related to the fire at the landfill in Vinča.
Lawyer Danijela Nestorović said at the press conference that the Constitution and laws of Serbia, as well as international conventions ratified by Serbia, guarantee citizens the right to a healthy environment.
“We invite all city institutions, and especially the City Institute for Public Health, to announce what measurements were made (after the fire at the landfill in Vinča), and if not, why not, were only pm particles measured, or other things and what was it?” in the air, “Nestorovic said.
According to her, the city institutions should also announce why the citizens “were not informed in time” about what happened and how much their health was endangered, as well as what they should have done to protect themselves and their families.
“A serious mayor, and also a doctor, must not tell the citizens to close the windows if you feel smoke, not even a layman would do that,” she said.
She added that the city institutions should also announce what they will do next “in terms of relocating the landfill”, and what if the problem with fires continues.
Nestorović stated that citizens must have the right information on what to do and how to behave.
She stated that, if that does not happen, the organizations gathered around the Environmental Uprising will “be forced” to file criminal charges against the responsible persons in Belgrade.
Professor of the Belgrade Faculty of Chemistry, Dragana Djordjevic, said that in Serbia, according to estimates, there are about 1,000 illegal landfills that “occasionally burn”, and pointed out that the consequences of the fire at the landfill in Vinca are “much bigger” because that landfill is bigger than the others.
Djordjevic said that Serbia, “unlike civilized countries that sort waste”, does not do that.
“Since all the waste is together at the landfill in Vinča, and the temperature is rising, the gas that is released from the organic waste is ignited, and since another type of waste, such as paper and plastic, is nearby, it all starts to burn,” she said.
Djordjevic also said that it was dangerous because materials such as plastic, rubber, packaging, contained additives which, as she stated, “react in combustion”.
“We can expect various dangerous substances and it is a very complicated chemical situation. We can expect a huge amount of a huge number of toxic substances that enter our bodies both through the lungs and through the skin,” she said.
The representative of the National Environmental Association, Milenko Jovanović, assessed that the authorities showed negligence and inadmissible attitude towards the citizens in the case of the fire at the landfill in Vinča, and pointed out that the problem was not that there was a fire at the landfill, but that no measurements of hazardous substances in the air .
“We did not measure, there is no such thing and it cannot be said, and that is an inadmissible attitude of institutions towards citizens,” said Jovanović.
Former Serbian Parliament member Sonja Pavlovic said that in cases such as the fire at the landfill in Vinca, citizens do not expect the authorities to tell them to close the windows if they are bothered by smoke, but they need clear instructions on air quality and what to do.
Pavlović also said that the agreement on public-private partnership between the City of Belgrade and the French-Japanese company Beočista was concluded “to the detriment of all citizens”.
It was emphasized at the press conference that Serbia is far from applying European standards in the field of environmental protection.