Clean Serbia Project For The Future Of Our Country

24. December 2021.

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Currently in Serbia, only 10% of the population is covered by some degree of wastewater treatment. The goal of the “Clean Serbia” Project, the presentation for which was made in the Chamber of Commerce, is for 80% of the population to be covered.

The “Clean Serbia” Project will cover 2.5 million people in Serbia in 69 units of Local Government

The “Clean Serbia” Project is being realised by the Ministry of Construction of the Republic of Serbia, units of Local Government and the company CRBC.

“This Project is for the future of our country, our people and our children. We do not have the right to push this problem under the rug. We are currently discharging the biggest amounts of waste into our rivers, and later take water for drinking from those same rivers. It is high time to protect our natural resources. We can and must challenge the status quo and that is why we are investing 4 billion EUR in order to construct 700 km of sewage network and save our rivers. Not for us, but for our children. Solving this problem will not be easy nor it will be cheap, and we unfortunately do not have examples of good practice in our country and that is why we need everyone who understands the gist of the problem and who wants to contribute. To be honest, people reach better to roads and fast motorways but we have to solve this problem quickly because it is not the matter of populism but the matter of urgent need.” says the Minister of Construction Tomislav Momirović.

The Project plans for the construction of over 5,206,679.31 meters of sewage network, and the number of plants is almost the half of what is needed for the whole Serbia, 165 WWTPs

Two main programmes of the Clean Serbia Project are:

  1. Construction of sewage network and wastewater treatment plants
  2. Repair, reconstruction, re-cultivation and construction of landfills with solid waste treatment

Jelena Tanasković, a secretaire at the Ministry of Ecology reminded during the presentation that said Ministry will not deal with project related to waters and land but that it will also work on projects pertaining to air, subsidize the purchase of electric cars and continue to subsidize in relation to energy efficiency in the following year. “Aside from everything else, we will continue to repair the landfills, the construction of 8 regional centres which will cover over 50 units of Local Government is planned. We will continue with the programme of removing wild dumps in cities and municipalities. There is a lot of green projects. Aside from 27 million RSD the Ministry of Construction has allocated for this project there is additional 9 billion credit lines”, says Jelena Tanasković.

What could be gathered, the goal of the first part of the “Clean Serbia” Project are Cities and Municipalities which have not been in the forefront either due to the inefficient activity of Municipalities or due to the lack of financial funds. The Project will allow them to completely solve the problem of construction of sewage network and wastewater treatment plants.

The programme puts three parts to the forefront:

  1. Maintenance of drinking water systems in cities and municipalities which are jeopardized due to uncontrollable discharge of the sewers (this is especially true for the area of the Morava river basin).
  2. Protection of rivers from excessive pollution (focus is on the rivers Drina, Morava river basin, Timok, Kolubara, Mlava, Sava and the Danube)
  3. Preservation of the environment and subsequent protection of one of the most important condition for further existence of people on this territory.

“Within the scope of the bilateral cooperation with Germany and German Development Bank KfW, the Ministry of Construction, Infrastructure and Transport is implementing the programmes of construction of municipal infrastructure in cities and municipalities of the Republic of Serbia. The goal of infrastructure programmes is to provide a sustainable urban development through the improvement of water supply systems, canalizing and wastewater treatment, collection, treatment and disposal of municipal waste” stated Enes Buhić, a secretaire at the Ministry of Construction, during the presentation.

As a result of the reached agreements, financing for infrastructural projects of the following investment value has been secured through five separate programmes:

340 billion EUR for 21 cities in the Republic of Serbia for over 1.7 million people

One of the supporting partners of the project is Hungary with whom a Framework Agreement on economical and technical cooperation was signed in February 2018, ratified in the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, and has entered into force on 8 Nov 2018.

“The goal of this Framework Agreement is the improvement of cooperation between the parties in the field of infrastructural development. The Project will include the construction of municipal infrastructure, drinking water supply infrastructure, cleaning and remediation of two lakes, several projects of road infrastructure as well as the construction of a ship lock on the river Tisa near Novi Bečej” stated a secretaire at the Ministry Emeše Urban Lalić.

The wastewater treatment plant and sewage network: Lebane, Beočin, Kanjiža,Kovačica, Debeljača, Čoka, Pećinci, Sivac-Kula, Brus, Šid , Sijarinska banja and Medvedja are the locations which shall be financed by the Hungarian support.

During the presentation, Dr Nebojša Veljković spoke about the priorities of the construction of city wastewater treatment plants while professor Dr Dragan Povrenović informed the audience about the best available technologies for the treatment of waste waters. The economical aspect was elaborated on by Siniša Mitrović from the Centre for circular economy of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Serbia.

The Project of Design and execution of works on the construction of municipal (sewage) infrastructure in the Republic of Serbia was declared a Project of Distinct Importance for the Republic of Serbia.

On 5 Aug 2021, 16 Relevant Annexes were signed for the construction of municipal (sewage) infrastructure in the Republic of Serbia for 14 municipalities – cities (16 locations) for the following sites: Lazarevac, Veliki Crljeni, Obrenovac, Svrljig, Lajkovac, Vranje, Novi Bečej, Krupanj, Kučevo, Novi Sad phase I – centre, Kladovo, Mionica, Banja Vrujci, Kragujevac phase I – centre, Varvarin, Knić.

The deadline for the completion of works on every relevant design is 39 months.