Bratislava, October 6 (TASR) – The state is announcing two calls financed from the Operational Programme Integrated Infrastructure (OPII) to improve the quality of life of people in regions, Investment and Regional Development Minister Veronika Remisova (For the People) told a news conference on Wednesday.
The ministry has allocated some €54 million for the call concerning road repairs and an additional €8 million for the call concerning the modernisation of public transport.
According to Remisova, the over €50 million call is primarily intended for road repairs. However, the money can also be used for noise barriers or safety elements. “High-quality and safe roads are a basic precondition for the development of regions. It’s hard to talk about the regional development or investment influx, if there’s no basic infrastructure in a region,” stated the minister.
Remisova stated that the condition of regional roads is disastrous. “One would hope that Slovakia will have roads in an excellent condition following 20 years of drawing EU funds, however, the truth is that one third of second and third-category roads are in a bad or even emergency condition,” stated the vice-premier, adding that the same applies to bridges.
The second call, which aims at improved road safety, is about modernisation of public transport, said Remisova. “Unfortunately, the share of people travelling with public transport is rapidly decreasing,” stated the minister, adding that the share of passengers has halved since 2000. The ministry has earmarked €8.6 million for this call and the money can be used, for example, to finance special lanes for public transport vehicles, parking zones on the outskirts of cities and towns, bus stops or renewal of vehicle fleets.
As EU funds from this programming period are at stake, Remisova has called on regions to have their projects prepared. The money can only be released for projects that will be finished by 2023, ideally by August.