A special meeting of Bulgaria’s cabinet will be held on December 1 to discuss new measures against floods, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov told the National Assembly on November 28.
Borissov was responding to a question from Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Kornelia Ninova about government policy on flood prevention.
In 2014, Bulgaria has been hard-hit by an unprecedented series of floods that cost lives and caused many millions of leva damage.
Borissov, who took office as head of government on November 7, said that not a day was going by without working on the issue.
He told Parliament that there was a large number of dams various in state, municipal and private hands, but there were 268 where it was not clear who owned them, “268 time-bombs ticking in the country”.
Borissov said that this was more shocking because owners of dams were obliged to inspect the condition of the dams and keep them up to the required standards, but in 268 cases no one knew who the owners were.
Of 655 dams that had been checked, 77 had been found to be in a dangerous condition and had to be dealt with before the end of 2014.
“Seventy-seven bombs ticking across the country, come winter, then the thaw and spring floods. God forbid! We need to do what is necessary to avoid this,” Borissov said.
There had been only six cases where owners had been handed orders to remove the dams, and no one had been punished. “No prosecution, let alone conviction,” he said.
He said that the issue was one of national importance that was not a political issue “and we all together have to solve it”.
(Archive photo: Floods in Bulgaria’s Varna, June 2014)