Up to 2,000 flooded structures "should be torn down"

Velimir Ilić has said that in the flood-affected areas he toured, between 1,500-2,000 housing facilities should be torn down.

Source: RTS, Tanjug

Ilić serves as Serbia's minister without portfolio responsible for emergency situations.

He told the Belgrade-based daily Večernje Novosti that he toured over 80 percent of the flood-hit areas.

"The Serbian government will start repairing and rebuilding the houses for those who were left without a roof over their head. Everyone will get a home by winter," Ilić said.

The machines for drying the flood-affected houses have been provided so that the repair could begin as soon as possible, and local self-governments will secure locations where new houses will be built, the minister underscored.

"Clear picture"

Zorana Mihajlović, Serbia's deputy prime minister and minister of construction and infrastructure, said on Monday that authorities would "in ten days' time get the final and clear picture of the damage that local self-governments sustained during the recent severe floods."

She noted that works to repair critical infrastructure and return people to their homes before winter constitute a priority for the state.

In a live broadcast on Radio-Television of Serbia (RTS), Mihajlović noted that the total damage, direct and indirect, will be close to the estimates by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), that being around EUR 2 billion.

It is realistic to expect that all roads will be repaired by October, she said, adding that the public enterprise "Roads of Serbia" will not only work on the first and second category roads, meaning national and regional roads, but they will also repair local roads that were practically within the competence of local self-governments.

The state of Serbia will repair all local and national roads, the deputy prime minister said.

Teams comprising domestic professionals, civil engineers from the construction directorate, chamber of engineers and foreign experts will once again go through all the materials that local-self governments have sent, the minister said.

The rebuilding of the destroyed houses is a priority for local self-governments, while the infrastructure, electric power system, road and railway infrastructure are vital for the state of Serbia, and entire Serbia, Mihajlović stressed.

According to Mihajlović, Obrenovac has so far provided only a part of the required documents, noting that, based on preliminary reports, the damage in local self-governments is being estimated at almost EUR 200 million.

Mihajlović said that the money will be secured from various sources, the EU solidarity fund, channeled for this purpose from some IPA funds, from the loans granted by the World Bank and EBRD.

A part of that will now be used for what is a priority at the moment - to repair the houses before winter and ensure a smooth flow of goods and people, Mihajlović said.

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