Minister says bill on Zagreb's post-earthquake reconstruction not unambitious

Photo /slike/Ministar/2.9.2020.HRT_Tema_dana.jpg

​(Hina) - Construction Minister Darko Horvat has said that the reconstruction of buildings damaged in the March 22 earthquake in Zagreb and its environs would cost close to HRK 42 billion, asking critics if they believed that such a figure made the bill on the post-quake reconstruction unambitious.

Horvat, who is in self-isolation until Friday, was speaking in an online interview with Croatian Radio Television on Wednesday evening.

Under the bill, which is receiving a second reading, 60% of the reconstruction cost will be financed by the government, 20% by the City of Zagreb and 20% by property owners.

Asked why the financing scheme was as it was, and why it was not different for Zagreb, which has the highest local taxes in the country, Horvat said that such a distribution of costs referred only to one's first and housing-wise most essential property.

As for the second and every other property, the owner will have to contribute 50% of the total reconstruction cost, Horvat said, adding that this was a change compared to previous reconstruction processes because now private capital was involved as well.

The minister stressed that planners would guarantee the safety of reconstruction work depending on the degree of reconstruction property owners would opt for.

He added that he was certain that most quality amendments to the bill would be adopted before the bill was put to the vote on September 11.

As for the spending of budgetary money, Horvat said that the government would put its trust in civil engineers, architects, mechanical and electrical engineers to make lists of expenses, which would then be re-examined, after which a call would be published to choose the institution or consortium of bidders to perform technical and financial analyses and choose the main supervising engineer or engineers.

Horvat also said that work was underway on a ministry application which would show, on a monthly basis, how available money intended for reconstruction, including budget funds, was being spent. Quarterly reports will be made for the government and members of parliament, he said.

The minister also said that a fund for reconstruction would be established in a month's time.

He noted that the residents of Zagreb who after the March 22 quake had to be accommodated in the city's Cvjetno Naselje dorm would soon be moved to the Arena hostel, where they would have the same quality of accommodation as in the dorm.

Image source: Croatian Radio Television 

News | From media