site.btaTransport Ministry: BGN 250-Plus Million for Railroad Projects Redirected to Other Types of Transport
“Over BGN 250 million in financing under the OP Transport and Transport Infrastructure for railroad projects have been redirected to other types of transport. We made the decision in order to avoid the loss of funding under the programme which ends in 2023,” said Transport Minister Georgi Gvozdeykov during an inspection of the construction of the railway between Elin Pelin and Kostenets. He added that because of administrative and legal obstacles large railroad projects have been delayed significantly, the Transport Ministry said here Tuesday.
„I have already taken steps to update legislation and avoid the same problems during the new programming period,” said Gvozdeykov. He said that BGN 700 million have been absorbed for railroad projects under the OP Transport between 2014 and 2020, and some BGN 1.42 billion have been earmarked for rail infrastructure during the new operational programme. “The results show bad management of these large-scale investments on the part of the state and it is crucial that we change that,” said Minister Gvozdeykov.
„Railways are among the most eco-friendly types of transport and are developing innovatively. We are working to make up for the delay compared with other EU countries,” said Gvozdeykov. He said that by 2027 the train journey from Sofia to Plovdiv should take less than an hour.
The railroad between Elin Pelin and Kostenets is part of the project to upgrade the rail highway from Sofia to Burgas. The project is worth BGN 1.3 billion and the money comes under the EU-backed OP Transport and Transport Infrastructure. On Tuesday Lot 3 between Ihtiman and Kostenets was inspected, where a 579-long tunnel had to be dug. The stretch will have a total of 14 tunnels and works are underway on eight. Participating in the inspection were Deputy Transport Minister Biser Minchev, National Rail Infrastructure Company CEO Maria Genova, experts and journalists.