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Macedonian capital without solution for collector

Skopje: Capital project for Skopje’s collector, which cost about 100 million Euro waiting to foreign donations, because it is not enough funds allocated for maintained.

Thousands of plastic bottles, tires, cans, vegetables, towels ... years can be seen as a sail in the Vardar, the most important and largest river in the country. Pollution that does not preclude this year passed bans on swimming, as well for use for irrigation of agricultural areas in Skopje and Veles.

In Skopje, the analysis made in May and June showed that water is for the fourth and fifth category, which mind that is dangerous to human health. The water is so polluted that it can find waste water originating from bacteria that cause skin and other infections. In Veles, however, the prohibition applies not only to parts of the Vardar River but for Babuna and Topolka who already are not for swimming, sports, recreation, and irrigation for agricultural areas.

Third, fourth, fifth category - these are the most common grades for water quality along the entire course of the Vardar. An exception is the initial flow of the river at the source before Vrutok in Gostivar, where water quality is rated "unit", which means that it is clean and healthy to use. Right after Gostivar start pollution, which turns the water quality in the "third grade", after Tetovo in "Fourth grade", and from Skopje until Gevgelija waters are almost always the fourth or fifth category, that is totally illegal for any it is used. Pollution in recent years has increased and numerous separation for extraction of sand which ruthlessly to move river water. A similar situation is with the other 40 Macedonian rivers.

Simultaneously, all the way in function of age are not any water treatment plant built and fully collector who would gather and faecal expurgate waste and industrial waters. Instead, the city sewage poured directly into a river.

The project for the construction of the collector and the treatment plant located around Skopje, the city which is the biggest pollutant of the river, for years is standing in the same place. Only thanks to foreign donations, last year failed to do, initially, a feasibility study for Skopje collector whose central treatment plant should be located in Trubarevo. This project should include collection system, treatment works and other supporting facilities on the section from the Saraj, Gorce Petrov, and until Trubarevo. To complete this, it is necessary to provide at least 100 million euros, which is not clear where it will be found. Only the building of treatment plant should provide between 55 and 60 million euros.

The state now is beginning to provide funds for construction of municipal treatment plants in Saraj and Gorce Petrov which should be functional within two years. The late is the construction of the station near Gevgelija, again with the help of foreign donations, which means that things move from the dead point. If this amount is added and the price of other water treatment stations in Gostivar, Tetovo, Veles ... it means that the protection of extremely polluted river needs at least 150 million euros.

The Ministry of Environment recognized that investments in the environment are still not separated as much as funds provided by National Strategy adopted last year. The Strategy provides funding and phasing of the project for Skopje collector, but it hardly goes. Deputy Minister for environmental protection, Sonja Lepitkova stated that as part of this project should include treatment plants in Saraj and Gorce Petrov while the main station in Trubarevo will need to seek foreign donations.

- For Trubarevo required significant resources. I think when we start negotiations for EU membership, and then we will open the program from which funds may receive funds for this purpose. In the case of treatment received up to 80 percent of necessary funds. I am optimistic that we will win, because environment is a priority of the EU and there will probably have enough assets - Lepitkova said.

She explains that now they apply for grant funds from the IPA funds, provided for by 2011, to prepare project documentation for treatment plants in Trubarevo, Tetovo, Gostivar and Bitola. Preparation of specific projects is a basic requirement for further bidding for foreign funds.

Otherwise, a new law on water use which begins next year, the treatment of wastewater should be concerned not only municipalities but also the industrial facilities that produce pollution. The large industrial facilities will be governed by the integrated A-licenses, while B permits will apply to smaller industrial facilities. This regulation will go to the gradual, and by 2014 all the factories and the agriculture sector will have to apply with plans to influence the conditions of their facilities on the environment and to propose measures to overcome in that period. The state, meanwhile, will need to give a deadline for installing water treatment facilities.

- Some large facilities have filed such programs and has several good examples of how caring for the environment. But more remains to do most of the industry - say the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.

The legal framework provides for an obligation that every town which has more than ten thousand citizens must have a special treatment plant. This means that the country should have 27-28 treatment.

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