Zrenjanin, Serbia – Linglong‘s €800-million project to establish a tire factory in Zrenjanin remains the focus of a continuing dispute between local authorities and environmentalists challenging the approval process for the scheme.
According to environmental group Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI), City of Zrenjanin authorities “illegally prevented” people from participating in a 4 Oct public hearing on the ‘environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for the project.
Citizens were seeking to register their views about environment aspects of establishing the tire production complex and supporting Infrastructure for the Linglong factory in Zrenjanin, RERI project assistant Tamara Bosić reported to ERJ.
Members of security and police prevented 50 people who had submitted comments on the EIA study, from attending the public consultation at the City of Zrenjanin assembly hall, she said in a written statement.
Under Covid-19 restrictions in Serbia, a maximum number of 30 people are allowed to assemble indoors, and 18 Linglong representatives were already inside, Bosić explained.
“However, according to the Serbian law if the conditions for safe public consultations are not fulfilled, the public authorities shall postpone the presentations until the conditions are met,” she stated.
For commercial projects such as the construction of the tire factory, she insisted, “the City Administration was required to postpone the public consultation or to met all legally binding procedures.”
Belgrade-based RERI has previously challenges local authorities over the granting of planning permits for Linglong to establish a major tire plant in Zrenjanin , before the submission of EIA studies (ERJ report).