“By the end of March will be launched public procurement contracts for three major railway projects, which will be implemented with European funding. Their total value is about 700 million euros. I intend, within my albeit short term, to do everything possible the tenders for these sites to be announced,” said Caretaker Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Hristo Alexiev at a press conference where he presented the main priorities and tasks of the ministry. He pointed out that the procedures would be for modernization projects of the railway sections Elin Pelin – Kostenets, Kostenets – Septemvri and Sofia – Voluyak, which is part of the railway line Sofia – Dragoman. The section Elin Pelin – Kostenets will be implemented under the Operational Program Transport and Transport Infrastructure 2014 – 2020 (OPTTI 2014 – 2020). The other two projects – for the construction of the railway sections Kostenets – Septemvri and Sofia – Voluyak are approved for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
“We will work mainly in two directions – completion of projects from the previous programming period and starting the new ones under OPTTI 2014 – 2020, not to allow delay in the schedules. By the end of next month all reports on completion of the projects under OP Transport 2007 – 2013 should be presented by the beneficiaries. A project that needs acceleration under OPTTI 2014 – 2020 is the launch of Lot 3.2 of Struma Motorway through the Kresna Gorge. We need very quickly to take concrete actions on this site because otherwise there is a real risk of losing European funding,” said Minister Alexiev.
According to him, although a tender for the construction of Lot 3.2 of Struma Motorway will not be announced within the caretaker cabinet, are required swift actions in order the problem more connected with ecology to be solved. “A final technical solution for Lot 3.2 should be adopted because any further delay is already fatal,” he added.