The National Highway Company (NDS) has recorded a rise of more than 100 percent in the number of potholes on Slovak highways and expressways over the past winter, NDS operational director Štefan Török said on Wednesday, March 13, the TASR newswire reported.
While the NDS spent €77,000 repairing holes between November 2011 and the end of February 2012, the figure for this winter is more than double that, at €156,000. An additional 2,000 square metres have had to be repaired this year. The NDS has also had to face extra expenditures vis-a-vis winter maintenance, including gritting materials and staff salaries, with €8.5 million spent to this effect between November 2012 and February 2013. This is €1.5 million more than in the period spanning November 2011 to March 2012.
"We haven't even reached the end [of March] yet, and expenditure is already €1.5 million higher," he said. Török also went on to note that this winter was the worst in terms of funding for repairs and maintenance over the past 5-7 years.
The Sme daily reported on March 14 that municipalities had expressed surprise after the government announced that it would provide €16 million to local and regional governments to repair potholes in the roads they manage. Cabinet ministers approved the assistance for road maintenance, of which €8 million is destined for districts that are responsible for second- and third category roads and the rest for municipalities responsible for local roads, one day after Prime Minister Robert Fico announced it.
The Finance Ministry is to prepare rules for how the money will be distributed. Fico announced on March 13 that the number of roads that each municipality or regional government manages and the extent of the damage will be taken into consideration.
Sources: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
14. Mar 2013 at 10:00