Bulgaria Allowed 3.5-Year Delay in Upgrading Waste Depots
Bulgaria is three and a half years behind schedule as regards the construction of modern waste depots.
Speaking Tuesday in Parliament, Environment Minister Iskra Mihaylova noted that there was a risk of Bulgaria failing to fulfill its commitments under axis of 2 operational program Environment relating to the improvement and development of waste treatment infrastructure.
Mihaylova, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), informed that the budget of axis 2 of operational program Environment was BGN 717 M, the contracted funds amounted to BGN 837 M, or 116%, and some BGN 167 M, or 23.27%, had been paid out , and 19 projects were being implemented under the scheme.
She explained, however, that Bulgaria would not manage to meet the indicators stipulated in the operational program.
Mihaylova said that the absorption rate under axis 2 of operational program Environment was expected to reach BGN 347 M by end-2013, adding that the final figure would depend on the efficiency of the beneficiaries.
The Environment Minister pointed out that two regional waste depots were currently in use, one in Botevgrad and one in Sofia, while all other regions which had been earmarked to receive funding were preparing their projects with huge delays.
Dzhevdet Chakarov, MP of liberal party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), argued that the huge delays had been allowed because responsibilities of the Environment Ministry had been repeatedly shifted to municipalities.
He suggested that the implementation of projects under axis 2 of operational program Environment was an absolute blunder.
Due to the delays in the upgrade of waste depots, the EC started an infringement procedure against Bulgaria. Bulgaria was to have built the modern facilities by 2009 with funding under operational program Environment but now the aim is for the construction works to be wrapped up by end-2015.