EU assistance for safe waterways in Serbia
17. June 2009. | 09:55
The aim of the project Investigating and Locating Unexploded Ordnance in Serbian Inland Waterways funded by the European Union (EU) was to identify the locations of unexploded munitions left behind after the NATO bombing in 1999 and all other unexploded devices that have remained in the Danube and the Sava since the earlier wars
The aim of the project Investigating and Locating Unexploded Ordnance in Serbian Inland Waterways funded by the European Union (EU) was to identify the locations of unexploded munitions left behind after the NATO bombing in 1999 and all other unexploded devices that have remained in the Danube and the Sava since the earlier wars.
The progress made so far was presented on the river cruiser Sirona.
The project involved a survey of parts of the Danube and Sava basins in order to precisely identify the locations of the unexploded ordnance left behind in these rivers. The realisation of the project was awarded to two companies, the Italian Sogelma and the German Mull and Partner. At this stage of the project, technical documentation has been prepared in order to the start cleaning up the revers from UXO.
According to the State Secretary at the Serbian Ministry of Infrastructure Aleksandar Cvetanovic, the EU assistance for the infrastructure sector has been very significant, amounting to some 180 million euros per year. Cvetanovic thanked the EU for what it has done so far, adding that the funding provided under the IPA funds in the future was going to be very useful.
Enrico Maglia, Programme Manager in the Delegation of the Euopean Commission to Serbia, said that as a result of the work on the project all locations of unexploded ordnance have been identified. Maglia announced that the EU was going to invest around 4 million euros in the project of cleaning up the Danube and the Sava from NATO missiles and from what was left behind after the World Wars I and II. Funds have been approved from IPA 2010.
Giving an example from the investigation of the river beds, Maglia mentioned a fleet of German ships sunk during the World War II, sitting on the bottom of the Danube near Prahovo. They hinder navigation and in certain weather conditions – for instance, at low water levels – their parts are visible on the surface.
Talking about IPA projects in the field of infrastructure and further EU assistance for Serbia, Maglia pointed out that the EU was going to fund the projects of setting up the information system on the Danube (11 million euros) in order to enable the application of new technologies that will allow for safer and more efficient navigation on the entire Danube, clean-up of the Danube (3,8 milion euros), reconstruction of the Zezelj Bridge in Novi Sad (30 milion euros), reconstruction and modernisation of the Djerdap switch-points (2 million euros), and production of the Flooding Prevention Study and the Serbian Transport Masterplan.
Representatives of international companies involved in the investigation presented the results of technical research (graph) and the methods and techniques used by the experts during their work.
They also showed the models of missiles found on the bottom of the Danube and Sava and talked about the problems encountered during their work (vegetation, poor accessibility, weather and climate changes, private property, protected environment, vicinity of substations etc.).