Bulgaria’s Failed Ivanovo Dam Was Used for Military Exercise – Mayor
The dispute surrounding the ownership of the Ivanovo dam that failed four days ago, causing massive flooding and serious material damage and killing 8 people, continues unabated, against the backdrop of cleanup operations in the southern Bulgarian regions.
In the afternoon of February 06, the day when the disaster struck, publications surfaced claiming that the dam wall had had cracks that had gone unrepaired since 2003 due to clashes about the ownership of the facility between the Defense Ministry and the Harmanli Municipality.
In a Friday interview for private TV channel TV7, Mihail Liskov, Mayor of the Harmanli Municipality, presented a document certifying that the Ivanovo dam was located on the territory of the Koren training ground.
Liskov first came up with the documents a few days ago, but he failed to get the attention of Defense Minister Anyu Angelov or Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
Approached for comment, Angelov reasoned that the dam was not “cheese which has to be divided up between the Municipality and the Defense Ministry”.
“I do not need a dam - I do not water plants or farm fish,” he went on to say.
Meanwhile, Tsvetanov openly accused Liskov of failing to “do his homework”, as a result of which the flood had happened.
In his Friday media appearance, Liskov specified that the Ivanovo dam, as well as two other nearby dams, had been used for military exercise.
Liskov explained that the Ivanovo dam’s safety had been a concern since the beginning of 2004, when he started writing letters to the different institutions.
At that point he was told that the reservoir was being used for military training.
The Mayor of Harmanli also mentioned that a sagging portion of the dam had made him contact hydro-technicians and request an appraisal of its condition.
The experts had completed the report back in 2010, Liskov said, but he had been unable to react because the dam was not municipal property.
According to the documents presented by Liskov, the Harmanli Municipality owns 1/3 of the facility, while 2/3, including the dam wall, are state public property.
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