Is an apocalyptic picture near Plovdiv enough to end the long-term neglect of the Maritsa river bed? The natural disaster that befell several villages in Karlovsko has involved a powerful state resource. He, for his part, has a certain price, but it is insufficient to compare with the experience of the victims, whose property was destroyed after the Stryama dam broke.
Whether the disaster has anything to do with human error committed over the years will become clear after an investigation by the Plovdiv prosecutor’s office. Against this background, however, the long-discussed topic of cleaning the overgrown riverbed of Maritsa is being revived.
It has been over 10 years since the local authority did the last major clean-up. Sporadic maintenance has been carried out since then. In any case, insufficient.
To date, the vegetation in and around the river bed is dangerously overgrown. In urbanized areas, its bottom is silted up. Self-growths are closing in and covering the already compromised dikes. And this is evident not only from an eagle’s eye. A walk along the riverside promenade is enough. It will take you on an inexpensive exotic excursion with an Amazon jungle feel.
This picture probably made an impression on the regional governor Angel Stoev, who soon after his reassignment from the caretaker government, discussed the topic with Zdravko Dimitrov. At a meeting in the district administration building held in early August, the two raised the issue of the urgency of the cleanup.
“As regional governor, I will take concrete steps to clean the river… but it is necessary to synchronize our actions with the Municipality of Plovdiv, so that there is no danger of high water within the city,” Stoev said at the time.
It’s not clear if they managed to sync up on the subject, but we can assume given the visual results.
Zico went to Angel Stoev after taking office, they discussed the cleaning of the Maritsa River
The lack of action is beginning to be felt by the people of Plovdiv, whose worries intensified after the flood in Karavelovo, Trilistnik and Bogdan. This reaction is justified, as the overgrown vegetation in Maritsa has been highlighted as potentially dangerous for the city dozens of times. Even from the rulers themselves. But between the talk of an urgent cleanup and the political wrangling, no action is taken. The latter leaves us with the impression that a possible eco-catastrophe does not worry the institutions to the necessary extent.
Until now, it is only clear that further delay would be a totally unprofitable strategy for Plovdiv. This is confirmed by the fact that a year ago the Municipality announced a public order for cleaning worth BGN 5.5 million. However, it was discontinued due to lack of funding. To date, the estimated price for the same procedure has risen by nearly BGN 1 million, and the reason for the price increase is Maritsa’s deteriorating condition.
We remind you that this summer a new public procurement was announced by the Municipality of Plovdiv. It aims to ensure the hydraulic passability of the riverbed, thereby eliminating the danger of overflow. After the financing of the cleaning and reconstruction activities of the compromised dikes was raised to nearly 220 thousand BGN, the candidates who showed interest became 6.
How many millions will it cost to remove the jungle from Maritsa river? 6 companies ready to do a projectThe Municipality of Plovdiv expects the sum for the cleaning of the riverbed to be over BGN 6 million
And while the procedures for choosing a company and specifying the order are ongoing, for the people of Plovdiv the concern remains that “man is powerless against nature” can act as an alibi even after a long postponement of commitments and responsibilities.