Fandakova: Over BGN 480 million of Sofia’s Capital Expenditures Programme – for environment and clean air
Investments in rehabilitation of large and small streets in the city at par
“The 2018 budget amounts to BGN 1,433 billion, which is by almost BGN 105 million more than last year. The bulk of the Capital Expenditures Programme of the budget of Sofia Municipality in 2018 is earmarked for environment and clean air,” said Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova when presenting the draft budget to the municipal councillors. “More than BGN 480 million has been envisaged for projects and activities aimed at clean air,” she continued. According to Mayor Fandakova, their big commitment at play in rearranging their priorities was a cleaner environment and improved air quality. This would be the strategic priority in the years to come that they would have to work together on, both as a state and as a society because it would be utopian to think that an institution can cope on its own. “The Minister of the Environment and Water promised that the topic would be considered at the highest level also during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and at meetings with mayors of European cities,” the mayor said.
“All major projects and sites are investments for a cleaner environment,” the mayor of Sofia also underlined.
“The investments in transport and for a better road infrastructure, set as key measures in the clean air programme, are top-ranking. The construction of the third subway line is continuing, with the funds allocated for it in the budget amounting to BGN 327.3 million, of which 16.7 million own participation. More than BGN 103 million has been planned for construction and rehabilitation of road infrastructure. “For the first time, the funds spent for reconstruction of the big streets and the smaller neighbourhood streets are similar,” Fandakova said.
The modernization of the public transport is continuing – the procedures for the purchase of 142 natural gas buses and the first 20 electric buses are under way. Sofia has managed to defend the purchase of 13 new trams under OPRG that will run along line No. 5. We are continuing the upgrade of the traffic management system with the prioritization of public transport.
As regards the transport, which is the main source of increased levels of suspended particulate matter, in the beginning of the year, Sofia Municipality will provide the Traffic Police with gas analysers.
The rehabilitation of existing and the construction of new parks and gardens will continue in 2018 – the budget includes the funds for the reconstruction of the West Park, the entrance of the South Park from “Gotse Delchev” Blvd. and the first stage of the “Vartopo” Park. Furthermore, there is a plan to expand the new “Vazrazhdane” Park by another 25 decares, with the construction of the first aqua park for children in Sofia in a part of it.
The municipality is also preparing its own air monitoring system.
“The afforestation and landscaping will continue – the “New Sofia Forest” and “My Green School” Projects are planned, and apart from those, the municipality plans to plant 2,000 trees along main streets and boulevards,” said Mayor Fandakova.
“We know that 40% of the dust pollution is due to the heating with solid fuels during the winter months,” said the mayor. This is why we launched a pilot project for the replacement of 30 individual household solid fuel-heating systems. This will be a pilot project for Novi Iskar district, with an indicative value of BGN 60 thousand.
BGN 32.2 million will be invested in construction and in implementation of energy efficiency measures for kindergartens and schools, which contributes to energy saving.