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.