President Vučić announced the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić announced the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Serbia this year.

“I strongly believe in the future of our relations, which have gained a new quality through joint efforts in almost all areas and which are at a historic peak. We are grateful for the strong support of the People’s Republic of China on all matters of vital interest to the Republic of Serbia, and with great joy I expect that the Year of the Wooden Dragon will bring our sincere friend and one of the most important world leaders, President Xi Jinping, to Serbia,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić at the reception to mark the Chinese New Year.

President Vučić added that the Republic of Serbia will always literally respect the principle of one and unified China. “You can always count on the support of our country,” said Vučić.

The People’s Republic of China is a participant and a strong supporter of several significant projects in Serbia, including “Clean Serbia”.

So far, 31 km of sewage network has been built in Kragujevac

“After a break due to weather conditions, the works within the “Clean Serbia” project are returning to the expected dynamics,” said Ivica Momčilović, president of the Kragujevac City Assembly during a tour of the construction site in this city.

The works are being carried out in Maršić, Grošnica and Bresnica Municipal Health, where there were the most problems with property and legal relations. Momčilović reminded that 31 kilometers of sewage network have been built so far and that there are still about 11 kilometers left.

“In the local community of Bresnica, we had the most problems, primarily regarding the property in that settlement, but we managed to solve a good part of it. In addition, one of the reasons was the crossing of existing wild sewers with new, designed ones. Such problems will be overcome on the fly. The property issue has been resolved for seven kilometers, and the remaining 4.5 kilometers, which are disputed, will be resolved through the expropriation process. At the beginning of the expropriation project, it was about 20 kilometers,” Momčilović pointed out

Works within the “Clean Serbia” project are being carried out in Milan Grujovića Street in Grošnica Local Municipality, Sopoćanska in Bresnica Local Municipality and in Čedomir Minderovića Street in Maršić Local Municipality. In the continuation of the works, works are planned in the streets Crnovrška, Teferička, Ljubomir Naumovića, Milovan Ilić Minimax, the cross between Sopoćanska and Milovan Ilić Minimax and Darosavska. In the Municipal Health Center of Bresnica, the works in Lešnička side street have been completed.

Wastewater treatment is one of the priorities

Although there are activities and visible progress, it is necessary to engage even more in the implementation of the Action Plans of the Wastewater Management Strategy in Serbia, it is stated, among other things, in the report of the State Audit Institution (DRI) titled “Effectiveness of measures to protect water from pollution in order to improve water quality.”

According to the data of official statistics in 2021, only 28% of cities and municipalities had some kind of wastewater treatment provided before their discharge into rivers, while in 105 cities and municipalities, treatment of waste water discharged into public sewers was not provided. During the year 2022, 81.5% of the total wastewater discharged into public sewers was not subjected to purification treatment before being discharged back. Purification was provided for 18.5% of the total amount of wastewater discharged into public sewers, which is 3.2% more than in 2015.

In the mentioned report, it is further stated that based on the analysis of official statistical data on the change in the number of households connected to the sewage network in the period from 2016 to 2021, it was determined that the number of households connected to public sewage systems in 107 cities and municipalities increased in total for 112,971. According to official statistics, at the end of 2021, wastewater treatment with at least secondary treatment was provided in 36 cities and municipalities, of which five cities and municipalities did not have such treatment in 2015. The aforementioned changes also had an impact on the increase in the population’s connection to public sewage systems, where at least secondary wastewater treatment is provided.

In the period from 2016 to 2021, the number of households that have a connection to public sewerage with provided purification of municipal waste water with at least secondary treatment, in cities and municipalities where this treatment was provided even before 2016, increased by 26,353. In addition, in five cities and municipalities where at least secondary treatment of municipal wastewater was established in the same period, a total of 55,112 households were connected to the sewage network in 2021, which represents 68% of the total change in the number of households that have a connection to the public sewage system with at least secondary treatment of municipal waste water provided compared to 2015. In Water management strategies on the territory of the Republic of Serbia for the period from 2021 to 2023 it was planned to implement nine activities of construction, reconstruction or extension of wastewater treatment plants with expansion and reconstruction of the sewage network.

Progress in reducing discharged untreated wastewater in the Republic of Serbia is monitored through an indicator that shows the share of residents connected to urban wastewater treatment with at least secondary treatment. This indicator records constant growth, and in the period from 2016 to 2021 it increased by 3.85%. According to data published by the Statistical Unit of the United Nations, the share of household wastewater flows that are safely treated in the Republic of Serbia was 36.48% in 2022, which is 9.42% more than the published data for 2020. According to the data of the Environmental Protection Agency, the participation of water bodies that have good water quality in the environment (good ambient water quality) for the period from 2017 to 2019 is 69%, which is 1.6% more than for the period 2014-2016. years. Data on the share of water bodies with good water status on the United Nations Statistical Unit portal are available only for the year 2020. Between the values of this indicator for the year 2020 on the portal of the United Nations Statistical Unit and the Republic Institute of Statistics, there are differences, which are most pronounced when it comes to the participation of river water bodies with good water status, according to the report.

The implementation of the “Clean Serbia” Project is Serbia’s realistic answer and a sustainable solution for wastewater treatment, because the implementation of this project has two main programs: the construction of a sewage network and facilities for the treatment of wastewater and repair, reconstruction, recultivation and the construction of regional centers for solid municipal waste management. The project plans for the construction of 165 wastewater treatment plants. .

The construction accompanied by asphalting works

The municipality of Lazarevac was among the first group of local self-governments to sign a contract for the implementation of the “Clean Serbia” project, and 23 of the planned 52 kilometers of the sewerage network have been built in the Veliki Crljeni Municipality. The construction of communal infrastructure is accompanied by final works on street paving.

“In this MZ, works are currently being carried out on the asphalting of the streets in which the sewage network has been constructed. 6 of the planned 22 kilometers of streets were paved. In other parts of the municipality, the construction of the sewage network is nearing completion. “Currently, we are working on testing the compaction of the soil, and depending on that, the streets where the sewage system is built are being paved,” said Bojan Stević, president of the municipality of Lazarevac.

His deputy, Tomislav Rikanović, during a tour of street paving works, stated that the most necessary parts are currently being paved, while the rest will be done when the weather stabilizes.

Considering that during the reconstruction of the sewage network, the streets are damaged, Rikanović said that a satisfactory agreement was reached with the company CRBC. “After a meeting with the Chinese company that is responsible for the construction of sewage works in Veliki Crljeni as part of the “Clean Serbia” Project, an agreement was reached and the first outlines of this agreement can already be seen on the ground, says Rikanović.

Chinese companies and the City of Novi Sad planted 47 seedlings

Representatives of the City of Novi Sad and the Chinese companies “China Road and Bridge Corporation” (CRBC) and “Shandong Hi Speed Group” (SDHS) planted 47 nettle seedlings in memory of the nettle tree that was in Modene Street, based on the Reconstruction Plan public of green areas in the territory of the City of Novi Sad for the period 2023-2027. years.

Mira Radenović Bojić, a member of the City Council for Environmental Protection, stated that as part of the action “Planting now for the future of Novi Sad”, CRBC and SDHS donated part of the funds for the purchase of 47 nettles in memory of the nettles that were destroyed in the storm in July 2023. year, which was one of the symbols of Novi Sad.

The representative of the CRBC company Wang Yaolong expressed his gratitude to the City of Novi Sad, which enabled the company to participate in this important action, as well as for the great support that the City provides to the projects of this company – the construction of the high-speed road Novi Sad-Ruma, the “Clean Serbia” project, as well as to the project of building a bridge over the Danube, which will connect Sremska Kamenica and Bulevar Europa.

“Thankful for the opportunity to build a more advanced and better Serbia together with the City Administration of Novi Sad, and today’s action is the best way to build friendship and cooperation between two countries and two peoples,” Wang Jaolong said on that occasion.

Stefanović: Continuity in the implementation of the “Clean Serbia”

Mladen Stefanović, the president of the municipality of Krupanj, announced that the newly elected leadership will make an effort to complete the construction of the sewage network within the “Clean Serbia” project this year.

He emphasized that “Clean Serbia” is the largest project in the history of Krupnje so far and that its value is around five million euros.

The new management of the municipality faces a big task of resolving property-legal relations so that the entire city core is covered by a sewer network, and in parallel with the completion of the works, asphalting of all streets and roads is planned, Stefanović announced.

Li Ming: Steel friendship between Serbia and China

The celebration of the Chinese New Year will end with a concert by the Chinese National Traditional Orchestra on February 19 at the Ilija Kolarc Endowment in Belgrade.

“Chinese New Year originates from China and belongs to the world.” This is a good example of steel friendship between two peoples,” said Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Ming.

The Chinese New Year is being celebrated this year with a series of festivities in the cities of Serbia. It is estimated that more than 2 million visitors have passed through the Chinese Festival of Lights in Novi Sad and Belgrade so far.

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Serbia to Serbia, Li Ming, said that between our two countries there is an iron friendship, which is deepening in many areas.

“Chinese New Year means family gathering and happiness. It reflects the universal values of humanity and puts people’s well-being first. I think that this represents the common value of the Chinese and Serbian people”, said Ambassador Ming.

Part of the successful cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and Serbia is precisely the “Clean Serbia” project, which is currently being implemented and which envisages the construction of a sewage network in as many as 77 cities and municipalities.

Year of the Dragon – Plans for a year of long-term success

The Mayor of Novi Sad, Milan Đurić, together with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Serbia, Li Ming, attended the Chinese Festival of Lights, which was held for the sixth time, in Limanski Park for the Chinese New Year.

“With our friends from the Republic of China, we are celebrating the Chinese New Year through this light spectacle, and we will enjoy this wonderful event for several days, said Mayor Đurić, noting that there are many Chinese companies operating in Novi Sad that work on biggest infrastructure projects,” Djuric said then.

According to him, these are the construction of the sewage network and the Central Water Purifier through the “Clean Serbia” project, the construction of the Fruškogorski Corridor, the bridge in the extension of Bulevar Europa, the construction of the high-speed railway, and soon we are expecting the beginning of the construction of the pedestrian and bicycle bridge and the Novi Sad highway – Belgrade-Zrenjanin.

This year, as the Year of the Dragon, is believed to be the right time to rebuild and establish a foundation for long-term success. The Chinese New Year celebration in Serbia will be organized until February 19 this year, with a cultural program in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Smederevo.

23 landfills in floodplains – Landslides threaten rivers

The largest part of municipal waste in Serbia ends up in landfills. According to available data, as many as 23 landfills are located in flooded areas.

About 3 million wastes are deposited in landfills in Serbia annually, and only up to 40% of the waste collected in this way is biodegradable waste. Plastic, bags, bottles and other types of packaging make up the largest share of waste.

Milica Lukić, a researcher at the Faculty of Geography and a member of the expert network for waste management in the Green Loop, told the newspaper Danas that landfills contain problematic waste such as drugs, chemicals, pesticides and other poisons.

“All waste goes to landfills without any sorting, so it is quite problematic that methane and other flammable gases can be released, especially with chemicals – pesticides and herbicides under ignition occurs very easily when pressed. That’s why we have those frequent landfill fires, which you can’t just put out, because everything from plastic, nylon to chemicals burns there. It is a rather big problem not only for climate change, but for water sources, water supply, and soil quality,” said Lukić.

As many as 23 landfills that contain the mentioned types of waste are located in the flooded area. This practically means that in cases of higher water flow, landslides occur. In this way, the rivers drag a large part of the waste with them. The mentioned waste threatens the biodiversity of waters.

The problem is deepened by the fact that the same rivers then wash the arable land and the chemicals carried by the water end up in the fertile soil and pollute it.

The solution to the mentioned problem lies in a greater degree of recycling, but also in raising the awareness of citizens about the importance of waste sorting. Social participation is certainly reflected in the rehabilitation of existing critical landfills in order to protect our rivers.

Radonjić: Serbia responds adequately to the challenge

By far the largest project that solves the problem of water pollution in Serbia is the “Clean Serbia” project, says Dušan Radonjić, Assistant Minister of Construction, and explains that solving the problem of wastewater is a challenge that Serbia is adequately responding to.

Assistant Minister Radonjić, speaking for the public service, clarified that it is a project financed by a Chinese loan and worth 3.2 billion euros, which envisages the construction of 5,000 km of the missing sewage network and 159 wastewater treatment plants of various sizes in the territory. 73 units of local self-government.

Radonjić stated that the implementation of the first phase of this project is currently underway on the territory of 14 units of local self-governments, ie 16 locations. At this moment, we are at 60 percent of the construction of the sewage network, while the facilities are in the design phase. The second phase is also ready, that is, nine local self-government units and the construction of nine waste water treatment plants, only waiting for the acquisition of the second tranche of the Chinese loan,” Radonjić said, explaining that the waste water issue does not make sense to be resolved if both components are not resolved.

“At the moment, there is a regulation that prescribes the obligation for all industries to adapt by the end of 2025, to either have waste water treatment facilities within their facilities or to bring them to the so-called pre-treatment, to bring them to such a level of pollution that they can will be discharged into the sewers,” said Radonjić.

Radonjić sees the risks of project implementation in several factors, first of all in decades behind in solving the mentioned problem, and then missing capacities in terms of personnel and material equipment. However, Radonjić sees the solution to the problem in the cooperation of all participants.” The Ministry appears as a financier, the local self-government unit as an investor, and there is also a contractor. In order for these jobs to be carried out in the best possible way, it is necessary that all three partners are up to the task. At the same time, it is necessary to have a significantly greater awareness of the mentioned problems among the citizens themselves, but also institution,” said Radonjić.