By restoring infrastructure to economic growth

  • Written by  V. K.
  • Comments:DISQUS_COMMENTS
Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and his colleagues visited two railway construction sites. Photo: STA Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and his colleagues visited two railway construction sites. Photo: STA

Last week, the Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec visited the construction site of the upgrading of the Maribor railway station and the construction works for the upgrading of the Zidani Most-Celje railway line. He was accompanied by the State Secretary Aleš Mihelič and Acting Director of the RS Infrastructure Directorate Monika Pintar Mesarič.

After his visit to Maribor, Minister Vrtovec said that work was being done in accordance with the deadlines and above all, with all the protective measures, required by the coronavirus epidemic. At the same time, he stressed the importance of construction as an industry that can greatly accelerate economic growth, which will be very important after the end of the epidemic. He also said that investors and builders should continue investing. “Investments need to continue to come on an even greater extent and with even greater momentum than before. Only this will pull Slovenia out of this crisis, so that we will emerge from it even stronger," he said.

The current crisis is also an opportunity to simplify or eliminate some administrative barriers and unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. Or as also Vrtovec said: “The crisis of this epidemic also offers us the opportunity to make some changes in the placement of facilities in the area, in obtaining some environmental and construction permits and in speeding up procedures. Some projects are taking an unreasonably long time. The state must be efficient.”

The upgrading of the Maribor railway station is being carried out within the framework of the project for upgrading the Maribor – Šentilj – state border, railway line. The estimated value of the investment is € 253.7 million and € 101 million will be received from the European Cohesion Fund.

The upgrading of the Zidani Most-Celje railway line is also going as planned, so that works are expected to be completed in the second half of this year. The Minister also emphasized that we need a stronger and better railway infrastructure, if we are going to pursue the objectives of the European green agreement. “By investments, it all starts and ends with money. Therefore, in the future, it will be necessary to consider new ways to use the earmarked funds even more effectively for the construction of railway infrastructure," he also added.

The upgrading of the railway line, on the Zidani Most-Celje section, in the length of 26.2 km, will increase the throughput capacity of the line from 328 trains per day, to 354 trains per day, as well as reducing the running time of trains for 5 hours per day.

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