As of Thursday, Mansourieh residents have successfully stopped the work to install new high-voltage power lines through continuous sit-ins and protests in the area, blocking roadways, and calling upon officials to meet their demands.
As the961 reported yesterday, the protests began on Tuesday at the intended start of the installations, and they have gone on daily since then. In addition, the number of protesters has increased, as residents of Ain Saadeh have also joined in the action.
While the government workers carried on with their duty of installing these high-voltage power lines, residents from the area surrounded the security forces guarding the site to demonstrate their opposition. The residents have asserted that the high voltage in close proximity to their homes would have a detrimental effect on their health.
On the other hand, Information Minister Jamal Jarrah defended the installation of these power lines yesterday by stating that there was no scientific backing to support this claim.
As a result of the continuous protests surrounding the disagreement, high-level officials held a meeting on Thursday morning to resolve the issue, to no avail.
Officials from the Kataeb party, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai, and Energy Minister Nada Boustani tried to come to a solution as to what action to take regarding the installation of these high-voltage power lines in the area. Despite the meeting lasting over an hour and a half, the parties could not come to a resolution.
Meanwhile, as the meeting was taking place, a high volume of security forces blocked the roads leading to St. Therese Church in order to keep protesters from getting into the building site and halting the installations.
Yet, as the announcement was made that the meeting ended without a plan of action, the security forces began to let the protesters into the site, where they subsequently were able to halt the ongoing work on the power lines.
The issue remains inconclusive, but residents of the areas rejoice in their victory for now.
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