The following story is unbelievable, even in the 21st century when we must struggle each year with drought in growing areas. Péter Gyetvai, a Hungarian nature photographer and an ecotouristic journalist, reported the Tóth and Tóth winery to the police because it siphoned all water from the River Tarna. As a result, the stream dried out, causing an ecological catastrophe in its lower segment. That is exceptionally sorrowful news because biodiversity was very high in that part of the river. Below you may read the shocking details.
According to Index.hu, the police department of Füzesabony created a separate investigation team to find out what the Tóth and Tóth winery did to the River Tarna. Based on the chairman of trustees of a local foundation, Pál Bóday, police officers seized documents, conducted inspections and will interrogate witnesses on the issue.
They heard Péter Szalóki, a local farmer and deputy mayor of Kápolna, who was one of many breaking down the illegal dam erected by the winery. Based on the accusations, they illegally siphoned all water from the River Tarna collected beyond the barrier.
The winery operating in Debrő did not apologise or show regret for drying River Tarna, Mr Bóday said. “Indeed, they hired journalists to slam local environmentalists, farmers, field watchmen and local militia members in paid articles. They wanted to persuade the public that the Tarna would have gone dry even if they had not siphoned its water away”, Bóday explained. He added that he is to report the winery to the police for polluting the sewer system.
The winery still states that its pumps did not harm the river. However, other streams in the neighbourhood, for example, the Galga, the Bér-patak, the Zagyva, the Laskó-patak or the Eger-patak did not dry out even though the hydrologic features of their drainage basins are similar. “The difference is that a machiavellian company did not remove the water of these streams. Therefore, their wetlands survived even during the most horrific drought and could save most of their wildlife,” Bóday highlighted.
Authorities will examine the responsibility of the local mayor, notary and water management authority in the catastrophe. They did nothing against the illegal water take-out for months.
Ádám Mirkóczky, the mayor of Eger, started a boycott against the products of the Tóth and Tóth winery. Furthermore, he called the company to be banned from all wine events financed with public money. Bóday is hopeful that all other mayors of the region will join.
Here is how locals dismantled the dam blocking the river:
Source: Index.hu, YouTube