Protection works were not implemented

Protection works were not implemented

The flood control projects in Thessaly, which were launched after the disaster caused by the Ianos weather front in September 2020, remained on paper, with the Regional Authority of Thessaly tasked with their implementation citing bureaucracy.

The largest of the projects concerned the restoration of basic infrastructure: the rebuilding of roads, bridges etc in the regional unit of Karditsa with a budget of €143 million. This project, which is not flood protection, was undertaken by GEK Terna and its progress is reported to be 80-85% complete. Most of the works carried out under this framework are outside the severely damaged areas.

Terna, as well as the other concessionaires, was, in different phases, mandated in 2020 to carry out €70 million of flood protection works in the form of additional works around the E65, the highway that runs vertically through Thessaly. This project has reportedly not yet started due to outstanding environmental licensing issues. For the same reasons, the flood protection project on the River Pamisos (€65 million), which was awarded to Terna, has not started. The company has recently claimed that it has submitted all the necessary studies but the environmental permit has not yet been issued.

In various briefings last year Regional Governor Kostas Agorastos said that in the regional unit of Larissa projects to the tune of €61.5 million had been completed or were in progress. Similarly, the region awarded projects worth €50.7 million in the Karditsa regional unit, €72.6 million in the Trikala regional unit and €48.7 million in the regional units of Magnesia and the Sporades. Referring last year to the delays in these projects, Agorastos cited “lengthy bureaucratic tendering procedures, the constant stages of control from the tendering to the awarding and installation of contractors, revaluations in the prices of materials and unpredictable weather conditions.”

There was no response from the Infrastructure Ministry to Kathimerini about the progress of the flood protection works. 

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