Besides the 5.6 bln euros in European finds, Romania still needs one more billion "to honour our engagements. I have discussed with the Finance Ministry and with the European Investment Bank to find a way to solve this problem", Romanian Environment minister Laszlo Borbely said. According to him, Romania is "several percentages" behind when it comes to the water supply access engagements, which currently records 33% in the rural area.
"It's world Water Day audit is not by chance that we speak about clean water, a domain where currently Romania is, unfortunately, several percentages behind - under 10%"- regarding sewerage and purification stations in relation to the engagement we took to the EU", Borbely declared during the National Conference on the Average Sector Operational Programme Implementation (POS) level.
Borbely also stated:
- Access to the water supply network in a centralised system reads 92% in the urban area and only 33% in the rural area. And this despite a good start in 1998, when we sealed the first public-private partnership of over 200 million dollars.
- Here we are, 10 years and at least 500 million dollars and 500 euros later, with the sewerage system covering 52% of the national need.
- We need to face these issues. Clean water is long time no more synonym with well water.
- I pull the alarm signal again and we all need to do more in regards to the money from the budget and from the European Commission.
As for the POS implementation, Borbely claims that "we are not in the phase of having proposals addressing the absorption of funds, but in 2010 the Ministry intends to seal contracts worth of 2.5 billion euros. These would lead to a total sum of 3.8 billion euros for contracts. So far, there are " around 11 contracts sealed for issues addressing water components and four addressing sewerage".
In regards to the other axis of the Programme, namely heating rehabilitation, one first contract was sealed in Iasi (north-east) last week, worth 75 million euros. "Other four-five cities will join the programme soon", the minister concluded.