Emergency legislation needed for infrastructure repairs, says minister
Komenda/Kamnik, 8 August - The government will have to draft emergency legislation to speed up infrastructure repairs to prevent procedures from running for months or even years, Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said as she visited the flood-stricken towns of Kamnik and Komenda in central Slovenia.
Four days after the first flooding occurred, some valleys and villages remain cut off, with Bratušek saying on Tuesday that establishing even provisional access was a top priority at the moment.
Links are being re-established apace, she said, adding that 99 roads were closed yesterday, while now there are around 60.
North of Kamnik, services reached the valleys of the rivers Kamniška Bistrica, Črna and Bistričica last night after they had been cut off since Friday.
Kamnik Mayor Matej Slapar told the press the damage in the three valleys is catastrophic, above all on roads and water infrastructure.
What is more, a number of landslides had been triggered during the three days of virtually incessant rain. "Urgent repair works have been carried out to a degree, but permanent repair measures will demand a lot of effort."
Slapar also urged the minister to delay all non-urgent projects for a few years so that the country will be able to focus on the urgent ones. This sentiment was echoed by Komenda Mayor Juruj Kern.
In Komenda the floods damaged over 400 buildings, some very severely. The flood also damaged and destroyed many cars, the mayor said.
At the top of the priority list in Komenda are repair works on the local school and kindergarten. The new school year starts on 1 September.
Preliminary data gathered by the Education Ministry shows that 13 kindergartens, 12 primary schools and four secondary schools have been damaged across the country.
Yesterday, Minister Darjo Felda visited some of the affected educational establishments, including a kindergarten in Mengeš, also central Slovenia, from which 22 kids had to be evacuated on Friday. Images of the firefighters carrying kids through the flood water reaching up to their waist or more caught the eye of the media and public.