Sofia Mayor Fandakova: Statements on construction projects, security and pollution

Written by on May 29, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Sofia Mayor Fandakova: Statements on construction projects, security and pollution

Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova made some interesting announcements on several big construction projects in the Bulgarian capital. She also commented on the alarming air pollution in Sofia. The Mayor was interviewed on the show “The Day Begins with George Lyubenov” on Bulgarian National Television (BNT).

This summer, a huge chaos can be expected in Sofia, since so many boulevards are supposed to be refurbished. On top of that, the construction of the third Metro line will go into its next phase. According to Yordanka Fandakova, some bottlenecks on boulevards, which are connected to the Metro construction, will disappear rather soon. On Boulevard Bulgaria, the process of restoring all lanes next to the Metro construction site had already started, the mayor said.

Boulevard Patriarch Ephtimi, in the very center, will partially reopen for traffic as early as this coming week. Two very deep cavities had been dug here. When the construction started many months ago, all traffic was moved to Boulevard Vassil Levski. The Metro construction is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

Boulvard Dondukov was another subject Mayor Fandakova talked about (see separate article published on Sunday). She said Sofia Municipality was awaiting decisions taken at the Ministry of Culture. This is about some aspects of the overdue refurbishment on Dondukov.

A metro approaches a station in Sofia. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

In addition, the big monument in front of the National Palace of Culture will supposedly be removed this summer. Also, Graf Ignatiev Street will be turned into a real pedestrian zone (see separate article). This is yet another project scheduled to commence rather soon.

And yes, there are more problems, which need to be resolved too. The roundabout at the Russian Monument was finally repaired two years ago, after it had basically be impassable for decades. But the asphalt already has cracks. Unfortunately, this phenomenon can be seen all over the city.

There are even more plans, having to do with security. Mayor Fandakova stated, she was working on improving the video surveillance system in Sofia. More CCTV cameras will be installed, once the funding is available. Her goal is a “unified security system”.

What the air pollution in Sofia is concerned, Fandakova said, a national policy was needed, since Sofia was not able to cope with it alone. So far, an early warning system for extremely polluted air is supposed to start working next winter. The mayor wants to take steps on bad days, such as making public transportation free.

For NGOs such as “Spasi Sofia”, that is not good enough. The organisation says it filed a class action suit against Sofia Municipality for not having done anything against the air pollution in the past two years.

The municipality also intends to fight the uncontrolled construction of skyscrapers. Yordanka Fandakova announced, certain restrictions would be in place soon.

Asked about the title “Digital City”, which Sofia received by the publication “Darik News”, Mrs. Fandakova said, the development of the IT sector in Sofia was of strategic importance to the city. There was a chance to keep young people in Sofia, who would otherwise move abroad.

Photo at top of page by BNT

Related article:Shaken, not stirred: Boulevard Dondukov in Sofia to be renovated

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.