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The new technical study that Peru's constitutional court ordered to be carried out for the Majes-Siguas II irrigation project will take between six and eight months to complete, according to environment minister (Minam) Ricardo Giesecke.
Last month, after a series of legal challenges, the constitutional court agreed with an appeal filed by the national government's council of ministers to allow the project to continue, on the condition that national water authority ANA conduct a new study on the matter.
A date has yet to be set for the new study to begin. The court stipulated the participation of the regional governments of Cuzco and Arequipa, together with the national government, Giesecke was reported as saying by daily La República.
Cuzco's regional government has asked the court to clarify its decision, which should be ready in the coming weeks, the paper quoted court president Carlos Mesía as saying.
Back in March, the Sicuani-Canchis court in Cuzco suspended the irrigation project on the grounds that it constitutes a threat to residents and the environment in the Apurímac river basin. Groups in Cuzco have also protested against the project, which they say will reduce the availability of water in Cuzco.
Consortium Angostura-Siguas has committed to investing over US$200mn in Majes-Siguas II. The group, formed of Spanish firm Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios and Peru's Cosapi, was awarded the irrigation concession in September last year.
The project envisions the irrigation of 38,500ha in Arequipa, Cuzco, Apurímac, Puno, Moquegua and Tacna regions. Works in this phase include the 1Bm3 Angostura dam, an 18km water transfer tunnel, a water intake, and irrigation infrastructure.