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PM Marković: Today, from Pljevlja, government is sending clear message that development implies environmental responsibility for today's and generations to come

PM Marković: Today, from Pljevlja, government is sending clear message that development implies environmental responsibility for today
Published date: 17.10.2019 19:08 | Author: PR Service

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Pljevlja, Montenegro (17 October 2019) -- Prime Minister Duško Marković stated earlier today, following the Cabinet session, which took place in Pljevlja, that Pljevlja had been determined as the location for the session so that the Government would reach important decisions for development and the citizens of that town.

“Today, the Cabinet session took place in Pljevlja in order for us to make important development decisions for this municipality and the citizens of Pljevlja, and at the same time begin the process of eliminating the negative environmental consequences. These consequences had been created by the exploitation of natural resources, while at the same time they could have influenced or are affecting the health of the population. Today, the Government is sending a clear message that it is committed to sustainable development, which above all implies a responsible attitude towards the environment, and the valorisation of resources in line with the highest environmental standards - in the interest of today's and generations to come," PM Marković told the press conference following the Cabinet session.

The Prime Minister said that Pljevlja has always been the backbone of the Montenegrin industry and that today's economic development cannot be imagined without making the best use of the many potentials of this municipality, as well as repairing what had been devastated.

“Unfortunately, in the period when economic and industrial giants were emerging in Pljevlja, there were neither binding nor high environmental standards. And this, in a long period of operation and exploitation, led to the devastation of space and high level of pollution of land, water and air. That is why today the citizens of Pljevlja do not live a good quality life that would commensurate with the resources that Pljevlja has. Again, the need to develop Montenegro must be based on a dynamic economic policy based on sustainable development and environmental protection. In addition, the new content of development policies should entail rehabilitation of disturbed order in nature and space. Exploitation of natural resources in this environment has resulted in the creation of new economic value. But now it is our obligation to invest part of this value in the planned rehabilitation of consequences, and the other part in the creation of new high-quality jobs and healthy living environment, "said the Prime Minister.

We have invested almost EUR 100 million in Pljevlja

The Prime Minister of Montenegro stressed that the investments in Pljevlja amount to almost EUR 100 million:

"The rehabilitation of two ecological black spots is underway: Maljevac ash and slag landfill (Thermal Power Plant Pljevlja) - works are already underway and will cost EUR 3.2 million; flotation tailing of the Šuplja stijena mine - a contractor worth EUR 7.8 million has been selected; bids for the ecological reconstruction of the Thermal Power Plant, in which EUR 54 million will be invested, have been opened; the concept and method of financing the heating of the city from the thermal power plant as the main and most rational source of heat have been agreed; we came up with an appropriate model of environmental compensation. The Government today approved the proposal for a decision of the Municipality of Pljevlja, which will, in a fair way, send between 2.5 and 3 million euros from the largest pollutants into the municipal budget every year. Works are underway on the reconstruction of the Pljevlja - Metaljka 17 km long regional road, for which we had allocated EUR 12 million. Bids for the reconstruction of the Pljevlja - Mihajlovica main road, worth EUR 8 million, have been opened. We have completed the Crkvice – Vrulja main road, worth EUR 5 million, as well as the projects of the reconstruction of the bridge on the Tara River and access roads. Therefore, we have invested  EUR 100 million in Pljevlja,” the Prime Minister underscored.

Prime Minister Marković noted that today’s meeting also discussed the debt of the Municipality of Pljevlja on the basis of concessions and that the Government tasked the Public Revenue Administration, the competent secretariat of the Municipality of Pljevlja and the Protector of State Interests to find an adequate solution in order for the missing funds for the budget of the Municipality of Pljevlja on unpaid concessions to be provided.

Green light for hospital in Pljevlja, red light for small hydro power plants

The Prime Minister said that at today's session, the Government also discussed the difficult functioning of the Hospital in Pljevlja due to inadequate space capacities.

“We have to provide Pljevlja, as well as entire Montenegro, with higher quality health care. That is why the Government today tasked the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and the Public Works Directorate to find a way and a model for the start of construction of a new hospital in Pljevlja as quickly as possible,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that at today's session the issue of small hydro power plants was also the subject of the Government's attention.

"I remind you that this programme has undoubtedly provided a new impetus for investment in electricity generation. But there were also failures in that development momentum that would harm nature. In some cases, this concept of development would fall short of its goal - to improve the quality of life and the development of local communities, which cannot flow separately from the preservation of the unique nature and healthy environment in these localities. That is why today the Ministry of Economy was tasked to start negotiations on the termination of the contract for the construction of small power plants on the Bistrica River in Bijelo Polje, on the Murinska River, Komarinska River and on the Đurička River in Plav, on the Trepačka River in Andrijevica, and on the Bukovica River in Šavnik, ” Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.

Asked by reporters whether, given the good economic performance, the Government is considering raising salaries in health and education, Prime Minister Duško Marković said that salaries will be increased in 2020 and 2021, not symbolically but substantially.