Bulgaria's North Central Region Proposes Canal Between Ruse, Varna
Thursday, 19 March 2015
A proposal for the construction of a sailing canal between the Bulgarian cities of Ruse and Varna was adopted at a sitting of the Regional council for development of the North central region. The meeting was attended by representatives of the districts included in the region – Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Razgrad, Ruse and Silistra, daily Dnevnik reports. The proposal for the construction of the canal, which is estimated to cost 3.6 billion levs, was the second point on the agenda and was adopted with 27 votes in favour and one abstention. Ruse's District Governor Stefko Bordzhiev deemed the idea as extravagant, but one that will be of great benefit to the region. Bordzhiev reminded that the first explorations for such canal were conducted back in 1972, but the project was abandoned due to the state's inability to meet the expenses on it. The route of the planned canal measures 192 kilometres in length, starting from the Danube port of Ruse, passing through the town of Razgrad and reaching to the Black Sea capital Varna. The canal will serve not only for the development of river and maritime transport, but will also be used for watering the fertile soils in the area and for industrial water supply in northern Bulgaria. The canal will also shorten the waterway between West and Central Europe and the Black Sea and increase the use of water transport, which is cheaper and more environmentally friendly. There are also economic benefits to be gained from accelerating the water transport of cargo between Europe and the Near and Middle East. It is expected that the proposal will be tabled at the Council of Ministers and after that funding from investors or the European Union (EU) will be sought.