Landslide and slow construction of a dam on Rzav in Serbia

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The idea of ​​building the Svrachkovo reservoir on the Rzava river dates back to the 1970s and is part of a broader plan that included the construction of about thirty large, artificial lakes that should provide drinking water supplies throughout Serbia through regional water supply systems. It all started in 1997 when Energoprojekt engineers finished making the project. Fifteen years later, in 2012, the workers of the construction company Hidrotehika-Hidroenergetika started construction, which, despite numerous problems and suspensions, continues today.

Construction began in 2012, and the original contract provided for the works to be completed in five years, by 2017. However, even four years later, the work is not finished yet. The new deadline for the completion of works is March 2022, as the documents show. However, the director of the regional water management company Rzav, which is leading this project, assures that due to all the problems on the construction site, the work cannot be completed before 2024.

The most visible reason for the slowdown in the works is the occurrence of landslides during 2015, which has further increased the price of work since then.

The contract on the construction of the dam from 2011 to November 2020 was changed as many as 14 times, and the total value of the works was increased by 10 million euros. According to Zoran Barać, director of the regional public company for water supply Rzav, the completion of works on this project could be expected in the middle of 2024, which is three years longer than the last change regarding the deadline.

Geological examinations of the rocks – complete, exploratory works, which should offer a permanent solution to the problem of landslides on the construction site in Svrachkovo – were completed only in September 2019, four years after the landslide first appeared.

Officials from the Jaroslav Cerni Institute, who was hired as an expert supervisor on the construction project, refused to answer BIRN’s questions about the impact of the landslide on the completion of the work, and whether it poses a threat to the completion of the work.



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