The budget for regional development for 2022 is BGN 2.6 billion.

The budget for regional development for 2022 is BGN 2.6 billion.

26 Feb 2022 | 11:03

The ministry will have a record budget of nearly BGN 2.6 billion for investments in regional development and public works this year. The amount was finally approved at second reading by the National Assembly with the adoption of the state budget for 2022.

For comparison, in 2021 the amount was almost three times lower - BGN 911 million. This means that for the first time the ministry will have a real plan-account, and the practice of allocating significant amounts with additional decrees of the Council of Ministers during the year, ends.

Of the total budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, nearly BGN 2.5 billion are the funds for the Road Infrastructure Agency. In 2021, the amount approved in the state budget for RIA was only BGN 804 million. An additional BGN 1.6 billion will be invested in major repairs and construction of the national road network this year.

According to estimates, BGN 1.2 billion will be invested in the current repair and maintenance of nearly 20,000 kilometers of the national road network. For comparison, in 2021, five times less funds (BGN 248 million) were approved in the state budget for this activity. The amount will be used to cover the activities for current and winter maintenance of the national roads in the 27 regional road administrations. Investments will also be made in measures to increase safety in areas with a concentration of traffic accidents, road signs, markings and others.

RIA's capital expenditures for this year will be close to BGN 1.1 billion. The amount is BGN 670 million more than in 2021. Nearly BGN 640.8 million are the additional funds that will be invested in the overhaul of the national road network and the construction of priority infrastructure projects.

The additional funds will be invested in improving the condition of sites such as the Topli Dol and Praveshki Hanove tunnels on the Hemus Highway, as well as Trayanovi Vrata on the Trakia highway, road junctions and a viaduct on the Tracia highway. A noise barrier will be built on the Struma Highway in the area of Tsarkva neighbourhood in Pernik. Repairs of sections of the road Burgas - Sozopol - Tsarevo and the route from Tsarevo to Malko Tarnovo are planned. Rehabilitation of sections of the roads Sevlievo - Veliko Tarnovo - Omurtag, Inovo - Gradets - Shishentsi - Boynitsa - Kula, Kardzhali - Makaza, the first class road Kalotina - Sofia - Plovdiv, Rudozem - Smolyan, Troyan Pass - Karnare, Yugovo - Luki and others is planned.

With the approval of the budget for 2022, RIA will publish the final maps of areas with roads that will be repaired this year.

Nearly BGN 564 million are the estimated funds for new construction. They will be invested in the completion of the Europe Motorway, Lot 3.1, Lot 3.3 and the Railway Tunnel on the Struma Highway and the Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo Highway. The RIA programme also envisages the completion of the Chepelare bypass road, the western bypass of Pazardzhik and other sites. The Struma section through the Kresna Gorge will be financed, if the chosen version of the route with enforced EIA is confirmed, as well as the design of the tunnel under Shipka Peak as the last stage of the Gabrovo bypass in accordance with the public procurement for engineering. The funds are provided in the budget, as the Transport Connection 2021-2027 programme has not yet been approved by the European Commission. The provision of the funds from the state ensures the start of the projects until the approval of the application forms for financing by the EC.

Nearly 2.8 million additional are provided for the design of sites for new construction. The amount for the year is almost BGN 8.2 million. It also provides funds for the preparation of a task for a technical project of the Sofia Ring Road - South Arc in the section from Buxton Blvd. to the Struma Highway, as well as dozens more objects.

For the first time in the last three years, funds are being pledged for the elimination of illegal construction in the amount of BGN 500,000 from the budget of the National Security Council.