By the end of March the repair of the dam ‘Ogosta’ should start

By the end of March the repair of the dam ‘Ogosta’ should start

We are taking concrete steps and real actions to start the construction works, Minister Bogdanov said

A realistic plan of action and the opening of a construction site for the repair of the Ogosta dam before April, when the construction permit expires, was discussed at a meeting at the Ministry of Economy and Industry by Minister Bogdanov with representatives of all responsible government institutions.

It was attended by representatives of the State Consolidation Company (SCC), the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Supervision (SAMTS), the Montana District Administration, the State Enterprise for Dam Management and Management (SEDMM), experts and engineers who were among the dam builders.

All agreed that a construction site should be opened as a matter of urgency in order to start repairing the dam as soon as possible, something that has been delayed for years. So far over the years, despite the prescriptions made, no concrete steps have been identified, no repairs have been made, no budget has been secured, the experts pointed out.

‘The problem with the repair of the Ogosta dam is long-standing and no longer tolerates delay. The dam must be repaired as a matter of urgency.’ We are taking real action to ensure that there is no risk with any heavier rain,’ Minister Bogdanov stressed. ‘The repair of the wall of the Ogosta dam is the duty of the state and it should do its job,’ he was adamant.

The meeting discussed specific steps to be taken as a matter of urgency in order to begin repairs to the dam wall before the building permit expires at the end of April. It became clear that a project and permit for the construction of the stone armour of the dam and the drainage channel had been prepared.

The experts were adamant that it should start with lowering the level of ‘Ogosta’ and repairing the water slope of the wall, but a few more urgent things were identified, such as repairing the drainage channel, the anti-filtration curtain and cleaning the dry slope of the dam, for which there are prescriptions issued by SAMTS. This will reduce the risk in future floods. By addressing these issues, the risk to Montana will be reduced and the economic activity associated with the dam will be maintained. Representatives of all institutions agreed that a construction site should be opened by the end of March. In general, there is no risk of a complete overflow of the dam, as its level is maintained at low values, precisely because of the existing problems and the need for repairs, it was also said at the meeting.

‘We are starting with concrete first steps for the repair of the dam, we will also secure the funding because the resource that was allocated years ago has been spent by the State Consolidation Company,’ Bogdanov stressed and added that by the end of February there will be a decision on the technical and financial part of the project.

A working group was also formed, which includes representatives of all responsible government institutions and engineers. Representatives of the Montana Municipality will be invited as there are pressing problems related to the construction of the correction of the river ‘Ogosta’ in the urban part that need to be taken care of by the Municipality.