Bulgarian authorities: Water to be piped via Sofia to resolve crisis in Pernik

The town of Pernik, stricken with a water supply crisis for months, is to be supplied with water from Belmeken Dam via the Sofia network, it was decided at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov on January 18.

The meeting was attended by a number of Cabinet ministers, Pernik mayor Stanislav Vladimirov and Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova.

The plan is to supply water from the Belmekend Dam to the Beli Iskar Dam above Samokov, from which, via the existing supply network, it will flow to a new special bypass pipeline – yet to be built – to Pernik.

According to the government, these steps will happen in the next 35 to 45 days and will cost about 25 million leva (about 12.78 million euro).

Borissov issued an assurance to residents of Sofia that the plan would not cause water supply problems in the capital city, but only would make use of the supply network.

The decision requires endorsement from Sofia city council. Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov said that the Cabinet would make the formal proposal to the city council on January 20.

Vladimirov said that the plan to supply water from Belmeken would guarantee a long-term solution.

Fandukova said that she would support the proposed plan, on condition that there was a “100 per cent” guarantee of the supply of water to Sofia. In the event of problems, the supplying of water to Pernik would be stopped, she said.

Water restrictions in Pernik have led to a number of protests, as well as official investigations. Neno Dimov resigned as Environment Minister after prosecutors arrested and charged him with criminal mismanagement for allowing flows of water that led to the dropping of water in the Studena Dam, the main supply for Pernik, to critical levels. Dimov denies wrongdoing and his legal counsel has argued that subordinates are to blame.

(Photo: Giani Pralea/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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