Objavljeno u kategoriji English na 05.04.2016 14:50:50

SDA and HDZ fail to agree: Covic's ministers blocked the highway construction

HDZ ministers halted all activities related to the planned construction of highway in BiH as well as the activities of public company Autoceste FBiH. 

The blockade that HDZ leader Dragan Covic ordered his personnel to create, was the subject of discussion with their coalition partner SDA.

Apparently, the highway construction was halted due to the intentions of these two parties to create better negotiation positions with regard to allocation of positions within the company Autoceste FBiH.

Federal Prime Minister Fadil Novalic has announced that an agreement has been reached in relation to allocation of personnel, and when all names and positions are published, it will be clear who has got a bigger and better piece of this cake.

And while SDA and HDZ i.e. Dragan Covic and Bakir Izetbegovic are giving away positions and seats, BH citizens are driving roads that are in the poorest condition in the entire region. They have been hoping for a new highway for years now. Considering the attitude of the current government towards this extremely important project, nobody knows when it could be finished.

Most important and most ambitious project of the current government is a tunnel through Prenj Mountain.

The government of FBiH took a decision on project implementation which has engaged federal institutions to finish up all activities from their areas of responsibility within 30 days.

The deadline expired a while ago and the Federal Ministry of Physical Planning headed by Josip Martic (HDZ) has not yet initiated writing an amendment to the space plan of Corridor VC, which is a precondition for other activities.

By this move, Martic has blocked the project of Prenj tunnel construction right at the beginning.

In a similar scenario, another HDZ's Federal minister of transport and communications Denis Lasic blocked the construction of Doboj – Zepce road by concession. One year ago, this ministry received tender documentation so that it could start the project implementation as a concessor, but nothing has been done so far.

Another Covic's staffer, Miro Dzakula, Director of UIO BiH, has been slowing the process of getting a permit for construction of border crossing Svilaj, which is necessary in order to finish building the bridge across Sava River and the highway Svilaj – Odzak.

As expected, Federal Finance minister Jelka Milicevic has been also involved in the stalemates.

 

The loyal Covic's associate from the times when he was Director of Soko, has been for some time withholding funding applications for highway from the donors who are already secured through Kuwait Fund for Economic Development, European Bank for Recovery and Development, European Investment Bank and OPEC Fund for international development totaling over 200 million EUR.

In 2014, OPEC Fund raised 60 million EUR for construction of highway Drivusa – Donja Gracanica. There was a tender for procurement of works and supervision.

Guarantees for bids expire on 20 April i.e. in 15 days.

Municipality of Zenica has completed land expropriation so all conditions are met for works to commence.

The value of works is 110 million EUR so it is necessary to secure additional 50 million, which has been agreed with EBRD.

However, the agreement is of little value considering the fact that Ministry of Finance and Treasury of BiH headed by Vjekoslav Bevanda (HDZ) has not sent the application to EBRD – that can be done only after Minister Milicevic will have sent the file.

The consequence of this planned stalling is delay of construction of Zenica detour for the next year as the EBRD funds cannot be approved until 2017.

Due to this stalemate arranged by HDZ, Autoceste FBiH tried to overcome the problem by requesting Federal government to reserve the funds from other available sources so that funds can be secured for construction of Zenica detour even before EBRD approve the funding.

There comes again Covic's man, Federal Minister of Transport Lasic who fails to submit the proposal to the government for consideration.

Even if Lasic did that, the works could not commence until state Minister of Justice Josip Grubesa (HDZ) activates funds from OPEC grant.

Having said that, to open up an account for this specific grant, it is necessary that Grubesa issues an effectiveness clause for the signed agreement with OPEC, which he has been delaying for months. The OPEC funds are there unused and works on the highway are blocked.

SBB's person has not yet been appointed as Director of Autoceste FBiH.

Just to remember, almost month ago, Federal Government issued an approval to Supervisory Board of Autoceste FBiH to appoint Djenan Salcin (SBB) as director in place of Jasmin Buco (SDA). However, Supervisory Board got a signal from SDA General Secretary Amir Zukic to stop this appointment due to problems in coalition.

In the process of allocation of top positions end of last year, SDA and SBB agreed for Autoceste FBiH to be allocated to SBB.

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