By SHARON UDASIN
Yielding to pressure from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Environmental Protection Ministry, the Housing Cabinet approved a plan on Monday to bury a future high voltage electricity line underground at Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon). This decision, according to the INPA, will allow for the conveyance of high voltage electricity to Eilat and the surrounding area, while minimizing the damage to the unique desert landscape of the region.Assuming the plan goes on to receive full government authorization, the new high voltage line can be built to replace old existing power lines, lying primarily underground, except in areas where the environment does not allow for land-filling, a statement from the INPA said. The Ramon Crater, which formed as a result of erosion and not by meteorites, is part of the Matzok Hatzinim and Har Hanegev Nature Reserve, and includes one of the most popular hiking trails in Israel, the authority added."The [Housing Cabinet] decision, which is really the final signature in a process we promoted for years, will lead to the implementation of a balanced plan in order to to ensure the preservation of the landscape on one hand and the infrastructural needs of Eilat and its surroundings on the other hand," said Gilad Gabay, INPA southern district director.
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