Over BGN 419 million from the budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) to be provided for municipal water supply and road facilities.
This is what the resigned Deputy Prime Minister Grozdan Karadjov proposes with a report to the Council of Ministers, which must be considered at this week's meeting. The proposal is in fulfillment of the government's coalition agreement and the commitment made by Minister Karadjov to the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Funding is split equally between water and road facilities. The interest of the municipalities showed a huge need for investments in both sectors. Local administrations submitted 1,007 projects for water supply facilities worth nearly BGN 1 billion and 800 million. The municipal roads for which funding is requested are 421 for over BGN 1 billion and 330 million.
The objects are ranked on the basis of criteria, among which are a valid building permit, a signed contract with a contractor, the significance of the investment.
108 water supply facilities throughout the country have been proposed for financing. Some of them are in settlements that have had problems with water supply for years due to old pipes, frequent accidents and water losses. The list includes water pipes in Sevlievo, Omurtag, Haskovo, Koprivshtitsa. It is planned to replace the 9 km supply water pipe for Vakarel. Financing is offered for sites whose renovation began two or more years ago in Dragoman, Dulgopol, etc. These objects cannot be completed by the municipalities due to the lack of funding.
The projects submitted to the MRDPW show the extremely poor condition of the municipal water infrastructure, for which the local authorities cannot provide the necessary investments. Water supply lines in the country are 90,000 km long, and their adjacent facilities – treatment and pumping stations, reservoirs, etc. – hundreds. Some of them were built more than a hundred years ago and huge investments are needed for their maintenance and replacement.
There are nearly 20,000 km of municipal roads, with over 57% of them in need of urgent repair. About 870 municipal roads are in extremely bad condition. According to data from the municipal administrations, most of the routes have not been repaired for more than 20 years. In the submitted requests for funding, the municipalities write that in many places along these routes there is a complete lack of asphalt pavement, there are numerous holes and sinkholes, there are no cross slopes, there are no road benches, ditches and guardrails.
62 municipal roads with a total value of over BGN 252 million have been classified for financing. Half of them for just over BGN 90 million have a valid construction permit and a contract with a contractor. The other half of the projects only have a building permit.
These are routes that often provide the only connection of populated areas to the municipal center, that is, the only access to social infrastructure and services. This is the road between Beloslav and Avren. The route is in extremely bad condition, and is the main link between the two municipalities. The municipal roads in the Vidin and Montana regions are in a bad state, not repaired for dozens of years. Such is the road on the territory of the municipality of Bregovo (Vidin region). The majority of the objects offered for financing are awaiting renovation from 2016 and 2017. For example, in the municipalities of Septemvri, Svishtov, Mirkovo, Kameno, Gotse Delchev and others.
Municipal roads in Smolyan district have not been repaired for decades. In the municipality of Nedelino, a road has been proposed for financing, which provides the only access to several settlements, and its poor condition makes it difficult for the normal functioning of social services for people, as well as the provision of fire safety. The first construction permit for the major repair of the track dates from 2016, recertified in 2019.