Govt to face huge challenges in highway construction

Osman Nurković

The govt will have to face with an enormous and responsible task in order to be able to monitor preparatory activities related to other sections of the Bar-Boljare highway and to determine models and procedures of their implementations in line with the best international practices, said the Minister of Traffic and Maritime Affairs, Osman Nurković.

In the interview with Mina news agency, he said the govt continues to create necessary preconditions for the implementation of other Bar-Boljare highway sections.

“We are currently preparing the conceptual design of the project for the sections- Mateševo-Andrijevica and Smokovac-Tološi-Farmaci, which have been determined as part of the second phase of the project,” said Minister Nurković, adding that the projects will be funded by EU grants provided through the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

He also reminded of the Memorandum of Understanding and cooperation with the China Road and Bridge Corporation, CRBC, which is engaged in Montenegro in a highway deal, explaining that CRBC was not in a favorable position as other companies were invited to show interest in a partnership with the govt.

Minister Nurković also reflected on frequent speculations about dynamics of construction of the first kilometers of the highway: “I’ll be frank: dynamics is not our priority but rather a quality of the project. Since the very beginning of this project, we cared about the opinion of professionals at the same time respecting the provisions of the contract. The contractor had to deal with numerous legislative obstacles and that’s a real challenge.”

When asked about the situation in the national airline company, Montenegro Airlines (MA), and possible solutions for its debt, Mr. Nurković said the issue was quite challenging for the government and himself as well.

“We need to have a serious approach and need time to resume all the information and thus make important decisions so that our national airline company can continue with its operations. Bearing in mind its significance, default is not an option,” stated Nurković.

According to him, the MA carries roughly 550 million passengers a year. “Over 400 people work in this company and earn their salaries. Almost two thirds of staff are flight crew and technical staff and a fair amount of money was invested in their knowledge/training,” said Minister Nurković.

As for the valorization of the Airports of Montenegro, Nurković said it’s essential to find better investment model and design a project of its long-term modernization: “The govt considers the airport capacities in Montenegro are not used enough. Our goal is to ensure high quality services to passengers with additional benefits to state and the budget. The most acceptable model of its valorization is a partnership with private sector, which has been proven as a successful model so far,” noted Nurković.

Speaking of the 2018 significant projects, referring to the rail transport infrastructure, he mentioned that they were numerous challenges esp. referring to the entrepreneurship: “We’ve done a lot when it comes to the railway security. We’ve drafted and published a number of secondary legislation. Amendments to the Rail Transport Law are underway and we’ll soon meet all requirements for closing the Chapter 14,” noted Nurković.

He also informed the public about the talks for different organization of state-owned companies in the area of maritime industry, as the govt expects significant results for the local self-government and at the national level as well.



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