One of the key areas Croatia plans on investing into over the next ten years, is its dilapidated rail infrastructure. Participants in a conference titled "Railways for the Future" conference held in Zagreb today, agreed that in order to succeed in this endeavor, Croatia must shorten investment procedures, meaning bureaucratic and administrative red tape.
Speaking at the conference Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said that Croatia is planning on investing some 33 billion Kuna in the modernization of its railways, with most of the finances coming from European funds: “We have a serious job ahead of us. This part pertaining to the railways is one of the biggest challenges this government faces this mandate. And we believe that in the end, in 2030, we will have a modern railways, and that we will no longer have to be embarrassed because we live in a country in which the railways are something negative and not something positive.”
Included in the investment plan is the reconstruction of 780 kilometers of railway tracks, which is roughly 30 percent of the country's existing railway track infrastructure. However, participants at the conference agreed that government must speed up the process, with even Minister Butković posing some as yet unanswered questions: “Why does the process of planning take so long? Why does the implementation of these projects take so long? And then you have all of the legislative regulations, from the law on public procurement, which produces endless complaints and appeals that draw out the process endlessly and frustrate our efforts. There is plenty more that we need to organize to ensure that we are not working on these projects for an eternity.”
According to rail sector experts, Croatia is also planning on having 70 new trains in service within a mere three years.
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