Mr. Gudzherov, you are responsible for some of the hardest sectors related to environment – water. What are the projects currently under way in the sector and what lies ahead in the coming months?
The sites that are realized in sector “Water” are mainly funded by the Operational Program Environment although the responsible institution is the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. The projects are carried out under Priority Axis 1 Water. Currently are implemented a total 129 projects for nearly BGN 4 billion. The completed sites are 106. Beneficiaries are mainly municipalities.
There is a project of MRDPW to strengthen the capacity of structures involved in the water reform. Its value is about BGN 20 million. Beneficiaries under the axis are also basin directorates – Pleven, Varna and Plovdiv, which with funding from OPE 2007 – 2013 develop management plans for flood risk in their regions. Activities to be included in the project are mapping of areas with significant potential of the water element, a catalog of measures, information system and others. Given the hot issue of floods, beneficiary is also Chief Directorate “Fire Safety and Population Protection” with a project to increase the capacity of territorial units and structures. Its value is a little over BGN 93 million.
There are already operating 16 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Four of them are on the Black Sea and are expected to provide water treatment for around half a million people permanently living there and about 650 thousand tourists at the height of the summer season.
Are there risky projects?
There are such that lag behind their scheduled deadline. This is most often due to prolonged appeal of tender procedures for selection of contractor. Of course, there are other reasons also but this is the main one. Employees of the Managing Authority (MA) of OPE work individually on each case in order to avoid loss of financial resources. If it exists, it should be minimum in size.