Bulgarian EconMin Begins Checks of Dangerous Dams

Business | February 11, 2012, Saturday // 13:27|  views

Bulgaria's Minister of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, says there are 600 potentially dangerous dams in the country. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria's Minister of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, begins Saturday the inspection of dams in the country.

Traikov is visiting the Krichim and Vacha dams and the Orpheus Water Power Plant.

It was reported meanwhile that 3 dams – Borovitsa in the Rhodoppes, Kamchia in eastern Bulgaria and Yasna Polyana, south of the Black Sea city of Burgas – are overflowing.

The main valves for the release of waters of all potentially dangerous dams are currently opened while employees of the Interior Ministry are monitoring them round-the-clock.

Experts warn the situation will get worse over the new snow and its melting, which could trigger new floods.

In a Saturday interview for Darik radio, Traikov said that 600 dams will be checked in the next 10 days because they are potentially dangerous. He pointed out safety measures are the responsibility of local mayors and authorities while the State will take the leadership and offer assistance.

When asked if all 3 000 dams in the country must be controlled by one team, the Minister replied: "The opposite had been done in the last 20 years – you know they say the fool is the one who keeps repeating mistakes."

On a question on the ownership of the Ivanovo dam that failed Monday, causing massive flooding and serious material damage and killing at least 10 people, after its wall burst, Traikov said that "it was not his business to give an answer to it, stressing it was absurd that no one knew who the owner is.

The Minister was adamant that the closure of the ex Ministry of Disasters and Emergency Situations by his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party GERB had not been a mistake because this was a cumbersome and bureaucratic structure that was not able to prevent similar tragedies while in existence.

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Tags: Minister of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, dangerous, dams, inspections, ownership, biser, Southern Bulgaria, Ivanovo, Dam, dam wall, flood, flooding, I


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