Friday 24.05.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Over €800,000 for flood protection in Corfu from Regional Authority

wildfires
01 Mar 2024 / 09:45

CORFU. The process for urgent flood protection projects has begun in North Corfu, which suffered from wildfires last July.

Maintenance and restoration work on existing flood protection projects are about to be implemented across the entire island, in order to ensure smooth water flow and prevent any risks in adjacent areas, as well as in technical projects. Especially in the area of North Corfu, which suffered from wildfires last July, the process started days ago to finally implement the required flood protection projects, totaling 310,000 Euros, in order to make the area more resilient to weather phenomena, following its devastation.

Already, works are currently underway for the cleaning of the Messoghi River by contractors awarded by the previous Regional Authority, while similar work is already underway made both in the Kavalaraina stream and in the mouth of the Lefkimmi River.

Tender documents approved

Deputy Regional Governor of Technical Works and Planning, Giorgos Mamalos, told Enimerosi that during the last session of the Regional Committee (27/2), the go-ahead was given for the approval of the tender documents for the project 'Maintenance and restoration of flood protection projects in Corfu' with a budget of 555,622 Euros. The invitation for tenders is expected to be posted soon, aiming to carry out works for the maintenance and restoration of existing technical projects related to all types of watercourses, deemed in need of intervention, as well as cleaning works of watercourses in cases where cleaning is required to restore the original drainage capacity.

The project involves a wide range of works and small-scale tasks and is being carried out in order to prevent the risk of flooding phenomena and to address problems and damages caused by rainfall.

Works to be carried out

The following works are to be carried out: Removal of collapsed areas and cleaning of the bed and banks of existing trenches from carried materials, maintenance, restoration, and extension of existing flood protection projects, such as bridges, drainage ditches, pipes, drains, wire baskets, embankments, etc., cutting and removal of vegetation at the sites of flood protection projects, earthworks to shape the terrain in the area of flood protection projects to ensure smooth flow of rainwater and to prevent new flooding phenomena in the future. These works will be carried out throughout the island with funds from the Ionian Islands Regional Development Programme.

310,000 Euros

Additionally, at a previous session (21/2), the Regional Committee approved the selection of the exceptional procedure for the conclusion of a public contract through the negotiation procedure without prior publication of the project 'Urgent Flood Protection works, due to the fire of July 23, 2023,' amounting to 310,000 Euros, in accordance with the provisions of Article 32 (paragraph 2g) of Law 4412/2016, which concerns the fast-track procedure, due to an urgent situation. With this allocation, all urgent necessary works for the restoration of infrastructure will be carried out. The works involve cleaning of watercourses and maintenance and restoration of existing technical projects located in the area affected by the fire.

Still pending

This issue has been pending for months, as it became a subject of political confrontation between the Kratsa Regional Authority and the opposition parties at that time. On 7 July, 2023, one day before the start of the pre-election period, an extraordinary session of the Regional Council was scheduled via teleconference to discuss the flood protection projects in North Corfu following the fire.

However, the head of the Anasa party, Theodoros Galiatsatos, argued that this particular issue was not on the agenda, which was added as an off-agenda item just a few minutes before the start of the session. Ultimately, the meeting did not take place due to lack of quorum, with the Regional Authority accusing the opposition of artificially creating the lack of quorum and calling on them to convene a new extraordinary meeting on this matter, citing the possibility provided by electoral legislation to convene the collective body in cases of extremely urgent needs. However, the matter remained stagnant thereafter, and the amount of 310,000 Euros was included in the Regional Authority's annual action plan for 2024.

From €5m 'Ballou' fund

This money comes from the 5 million Euros with which the Regional Authority was funded by the Ministry of Development for the implementation of flood protection projects after being hit by the catastrophic storm 'Ballou' in October 2021.

Moreover, the Municipality of Central Corfu was funded with an amount of 1.5 million Euros last August by the Regional Authority, so that three new sub-projects can be added, in which the implementing body and beneficiary will be the Municipality. These sub-projects concern the restoration of damage on the roads Vasilika-Danilia, as well as the restoration of damage caused by natural disasters to the municipal road network in various suburban areas (Kompitsi, Kato Garouna, Evropouli, Agios Gordios, Kontogialos, etc.).

MARIA BAZDRIYIANNI

Photo: Spyridoula Kokkali / FB