GB No. 1(16)/95


The following fact should be widely known.

The day of 11th November 1988 was Friday. On this day sharp at noon bulldozers operated by Kazimierz Rylewicz, Antoni Musiał and Jan Kogut finished building an earth barrier across the old riverbed of the Dunajec. In the same time the diggers driven by Mieczysław Klag and Tadeusz Kura broke another earth barrier and directed the river to the new riverbed, to the concrete spillway tunnels of the dam*.

That is how the first stage of building the Czorsztyn dam was finalised.

"The Dunajec Embraced in Concrete" was a triumphant title of an article in the Trybuna Ludu the excerpt from which I have cited above and which I am going to discuss. The article is short but the way in which the public is informed about building of the Czorsztyn dam is characteristic considering the information it contains as well as that it tries to pass over.

The text includes figures regarding the output energy produced by the water powerplant as well as length, capacity and surface of the future reservoir. The figures certainly are important but far more important would be information about costs already incurred, sums necessary to complete the building, the exploitation costs of the reservoir as well as the expected profits. These values were not mentioned in the article. Why? Were they not impressive? Or maybe nobody has done such calculations?

There was another figure mentioned in the article: the text, written in 1988, states that damming up of the Dunajec is planned for ... 1991. Furthermore, a few days ago I read that the dam will be fully operational not in 1995 but in 1997**. If there will be no new obstacles the building will have lasted, since the date of signing the relevant decision in 1964, 33 years! One third of a century - a very good time, indeed. Through all the years our decision-making brains, communistic as well as capitalist, sank billions zlotys of national funds into the scheme. It calls for the Guinness Book of Records.

Damage done to the environment in connection with the building is not mentioned in the article at all. Not a single word.

Moreover, the author named the digger-operators but left out VIP's. Is it possible that they missed such an important moment? Or maybe they preferred to keep a low profile?

This would be it as for the "informative" article from the Trybuna Ludu issued six years ago.

To sum up, let me draw your attention to one fact. 11th November is the Day of Independence in Poland and on the same day the Dunajec was "embraced in concrete". This is a meaningful coincidence: the Polish United Workers' Party, suppressing the holiday for years, ceased to exist and we can celebrate the festival again. But the disastrous dam building is still carried on. Conclusion: Poland regained her independence but not Polish nature.

Stanisław Zubek
Kraków. 14 Nov. 1994
reprinted from Zielone Brygady 12/94

GB No. 1(16)/95 | Contents