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Fears Road Could Destroy Uniqueness of Highlands

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Fears Road Could Destroy Uniqueness of Highlands

The road across Sprengisandur desert in the Icelandic highlands.

Sprengisandur. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association, has raised concerns over plans for a high-voltage transmission line to be built by Landsnet, which would mean that the experience of the highlands will not be the same. The association has also protested the widening of Sprengisandsvegur road in the central highlands.

An environmental impact assessment for the building of power lines is to be carried out in the area, ruv.is reports.

CEO of Landvernd Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson stated Landsnet has only just launched a public decision-making process on the power lines now. He added that the company ignored public comments on their last project and has been unwilling to consider laying power lines in the ground.

The association has also raised concerns over the widening of Sprengisandsvegur road in the central highlands. Restaurants and guesthouses would also be built, thus further destroying the uniqueness of the area, Guðmundur Ingi said in an interview with RÚV yesterday.

The plan is to widen the road by eight meters, thereby doubling the width of the existing road, making it safer, ruv.is reports. The disrupted area would be 22 meters wide.

Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir said that there are no plans for the project to be carried outin the next 10 to 15 years because of a lack of funds but should the project go ahead concerns of the tourism industry would be taken into consideration.

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