Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

EVEN WHEN THERE IS SUFFICIENT MONEY, REPAIRS ARE STILL DELAYED

On the eve of the Olympic games in Greece our country will be repairing roads, instead of meeting vacationers and undertaking part of the traffic to our southern neighbour. It is not bad to repair our roads, but rulers again seem to have not chosen the most appropriate time for that. As the BANKER weekly has already written, prior and during the Olympics the roads to the Bulgarian-Greek border at Kulata-Promahon (along Е-79 motorway), will be in repair). Both the incumbent Cabinet and the former government had promised that everything would be OK until the start of the games in Athens in 2004, but the promise was not kept, although the money for the construction was ensured back in 1998.Hardly many Bulgarians will afford to watch the Olympics live, but many will certainly go to the seaside. Those who want to drive to the Northern Black Sea coast will meet difficulties. In end-April repairs will begin on the roads around the resorts of Albena, Balchik, Kaliakra, Shabla and Kamchia. During the next eight months Glavbolgarstroy will have to start reconstruction of six road sections with a total length of 33 km in the region of Varna, Dobrich and Silistra. The repairs are under the Roads for Access to Tourist Sites project, evaluated at EUR4,174,000.The total project is worth EUR15,331,000, of which EUR10MN will be ensured by the EU PHARE Programme and EUR5,331,000 will be provided by the State. The money will be spent on the repair of 144 km of roads. In the beginning of October 2003 the Minsiter of Construction and Public Works Valentin Tserovsky and the Head of the Delegation of the EC to Bulgaria Dimitris Kourkoulas handed the contracts to the three firms which won the international tender for carrying out the construction works. The Rhodopes consortium will get EUR3,105,000 for the repair of six road sections with a total length of 42 km in the region of Smolyan, Haskovo and Kurdjali. The consortium includes the Austrian company Strabag (which is also building the new passenger terminal of the Sofia Airport), the Bulgarian firms Ingstroy (75% of whose shares are in the hands of Strabag), and AB-Haskovo. The same consortium will be working in the region of Pazardjik. Three road sections of 32 km total length are projected for reconstruction with the released funds of EUR3,275,000. The replacement of 37 km of the asphalt pavement along the roads in the region of Shoumen, Tirgovishte and Razgrad, evaluated at EUR3,714,000, has been assigned to the consrtium between the Greek firm Afoi Mesohorti and the Bulgarian Road Constructions-Veliko Tirnovo. Construction works on all sites will be supervised by the Spanish company Tipsa in partnership with the Bulgarian firm Controls. The contract with them is worth EUR1,060,000. End-2004 is the deadline for the repairs, but it is very doubtful that the term will be observed.

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