Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Bosnian Serb Entity Building Family Homes for Croatian Serb Quake Victims

ZAGREB, 19 April 2022 - Croatian MP Milorad Pupovac and the director of the Bosnian Serb entity's secretariat for the displaced and migration, Davor Čordaš, on Tuesday signed an agreement on the construction of houses for Serb families whose homes were destroyed in the 2020 earthquake in Croatia's Banovina region.

The agreement is worth HRK 6 million and envisages the construction of ten prefab houses, to be made by the Steco factory in Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The agreement was signed in the Bosnian Serb entity's capital of Banja Luka.

Prior to that, Pupovac held talks with the entity's prime minister, Radovan Višković, telling the press he expected the houses to be delivered by the end of the summer.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Medved: Post-Earthquake Reconstruction in Banovina Hasn't Stopped Once

ZAGREB, 12 March 2022 - Post-earthquake reconstruction in Banovina has not stopped even once, 29 family houses are being built and next week the contractors for ten blocks of flats will be known, the head of the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 2020 earthquake, Tomo Medved, said in Petrinja on Saturday.

"At no moment has the reconstruction process been stopped or brought into question, despite all the circumstances cased by Russia's aggression on Ukraine," he told the press after a task force meeting which was attended for the first time by the new Construction Minister Ivan Paladina.

Medved said he was confident that reconstruction would intensify following Paladina's appointment and that citizens "waiting to return to their homes will be satisfied."

Paladina said he was detecting the obstacles to reconstruction and that they were being dealt with. Construction has begun on ten replacement houses and soon there will be 30, he added.

Sisak-Moslavina County prefect Ivan Celjak said the county had submitted 68 projects worth HRK 700 million to the Solidarity Fund, with 52 projects for the construction of 40 houses, 12 roads, 20 medical facilities, 11 schools and nine cultural facilities.

Asked by the press if a possible investigation into his previous activities was an aggravating circumstance, Paladina said he was focused on the work ahead.

Reporters asked Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević if he had become a burden to the post-earthquake reconstruction process due to a possible investigation into incentive allocations.

He said it was not a pleasant situation but that, as a public figure, he must be ready to deal with such a burden and that he would continue to contribute to the reconstruction process.

Friday, 11 February 2022

100 Houses Per Week Being Reconstructed in Banovina, State Secretary Says

ZAGREB, 11 Feb 2022 - Over the past fortnight 100 houses have been reconstructed per week, the task force dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake which hit the Banovina region in December 2020 said at a meeting in Petrinja on Friday.

The value of the works contracted to date is HRK 280 million, HRK 457 million worth of works are at the procurement stage, and HRK 1.2 billion worth of reconstruction works will be contracted by June.

To date, 1,428 houses have been reconstructed, said Gordan Hanžek, state secretary at the State Reconstruction and Housing Office. He added that homeowners have reconstructed 692 houses on their own.

Works are underway on more than 1,000 houses, Hanžek said.

As for the construction of family houses, 60 contracts have been signed with contractors and the construction of another dozen houses should begin next week, he said.

Another 56 houses are in the final administrative stage and construction should begin by the end of the month, by which time the construction of more than 160 houses should be contracted, he added.

Hanžek said the start of seismic retrofitting had been markedly stepped up and that a tender was expected by the end of the month. Documents are being prepared for about 400 houses and about 15% of the houses inspected so far should be torn down, he added.

Hanžek said tenders for the construction of four blocks of flats in Glina would be launched on Monday and Tuesday.

To date, the Construction Ministry has adopted 1,203 decisions on the reconstruction, construction or demolition of quake-damaged houses in Banovina.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Friday, 10 December 2021

Croatian Companies Engaged in Banovina House Rebuilding Process

December the 10th, 2021 - Several Croatian companies can be found on the list of those engaged in the Banovina house reconstruction plans, which are admittedly going far slower than anyone could have imagined, even by domestic standards.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the reconstruction process following December 2020's devastating earthquake which struck the Banovina area is finally entering a new phase. According to the plan for the construction of houses and buildings with the beginning of the implementation of projects of the first replacement family houses, things will finally get going in a concrete sense in around five weeks.

There are two types of replacement Banovina house at the moment, in terms of family homes that is - urban and traditional, six technological solutions have now been created, and the procedure began a few days ago with the launch of a public procurement procedure for the reconstruction of the first thirty houses, as was announced by the competent ministry.

In four phases throughout the month of December (given that the first has already started) tenders are planned for another 135 replacement family homes that are 100 percent financed by the state, while those for apartment buildings in areas where the disaster was also declared will be published from the end of December, firstly for ten buildings.

Tenders for the first thirty typical houses have been announced for those according to the urban model of dry wooden construction. Then, on December the 12th, there will be a tender for Banovina house construction in the traditional model of classic masonry, with a floor area covering 55 m2, 70 m2 and 85 m2.

One week later, a tender is expected for thirty houses - the Urban model, classic masonry construction, and on December the 29th, the procedure for another 75 houses will begin.

With the planned duration of these reconstruction procedures according to the Public Procurement Act, this means a fast pace with the start of work three months from the date of initiating the procurement. According to Minister of Construction Darko Horvat, people can choose between two types of replacement houses in this Banovina house procedure, but they have to make a key decision whether to hand over the renovation to the Central State Office or decide on a contract to start construction so that the state body pays them in accordance with the dynamics of the reconstruction.

As far as the construction of replacement apartment buildings is concerned, the managers have the right to receive the total amount for renovation after the technical and financial control, and after that, to verify everything done with the final report of the supervisory body.

"Renovation is underway, first comes the construction of replacement family houses, after the preparations we've made, we'll be giving the task primarily to Croatian companies to build nearly 4,000 replacement facilities in Banovina," said Horvat.

"Our task was to build houses in accordance with all European regulations on construction, for them to be fully functional and safe from further earthquakes, all while respecting the traditional architecture and functionality of the area, as well as making sure they're energy efficient," said Gordan Hanzek.

The launch of public procurement for the construction of apartment buildings is planned (for its 5th phase) on the 28th of December, with four buildings in Petrinja (72 apartments) and Glina (52 apartments) and two in Topusko (26 apartments). This was preceded by activities such as the amendment of the GUP Petrinja, which was recently adopted by the City Council, and the construction sites were harmonised with the needs and urban requirements of Glina.

In Topusko, on a construction site where several apartment buildings will be built, a 7,000 m2 plot of land is being used which is state-owned. For these replacement buildings, which will be built with EU funds, the expected start of construction is the end of March 2022, and completion must happen within a year.

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Saturday, 30 October 2021

Croatia to Get €319 Million in EU Grants to Repair Earthquake Damage in Banovina

ZAGREB, 30 Oct, 2021 - The European Commission has decided to award €319 million in grants to Croatia to help it repair damage caused by the 29 December 2020 earthquake in the central region of Banovina.

The EC said on Friday that it had adopted a decision to award Croatia grants from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) based on the country's application for the compensation of funds used to repair damage caused by the 29 December earthquake, the Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The EC decision is a draft that will be forwarded to the European Parliament and Council of the EU for further proceedings and the payment will be made once those proceedings are completed.

The ministry recalls that in August 2021 Croatia received a part of an advance in the amount of €41.325 million and under the EC's draft decision, the total amount of grants for damage repair is €319,192,359.

Also, Croatia has so far received €683.7 million in grants to repair damage caused by the 22 March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb. The total amount of grants for earthquake damage repair to be obtained from the EUSF is more than a billion euros, the ministry said.

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Friday, 6 August 2021

Plan for Revitalisation of Banovina Envisages Investments Worth HRK 15 Bn

ZAGREB, 6 Aug 2021 - In order to stop and reverse a negative natural increase, stop emigration from and encourage immigration to Sisak-Moslavina County, hit by a strong earthquake in late 2020, the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry has launched a programme to invest HRK 15 billion in the quake-hit areas by 2029.

The programme is aimed at the social and economic revitalisation of government-assisted areas hit by the earthquake and envisages investments of HRK 15 billion in the period until 2029 or HRK 3.1 billion by the end of 2023, to be used for reconstruction and removal of damage caused by the earthquake, says the Večernji List daily.

An additional HRK 994.72 million will be invested as part of ongoing projects under the 2014-2020 Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme.

The programme of integrated physical, economic and social regeneration of small towns in the once war-affected region envisages investments of HRK 196 million while government decisions adopted after the earthquake in Banovina envisage investments amounting to HRK 500 million.

Under the programme, direct damage caused by earthquakes that hit Croatia in 2020 has been estimated at HRK 41.6 billion, of which Sisak-Moslavina County accounts for more than 90% or HRK 37.5 billion.

According to the latest estimates by the national statistical office, Sisak-Moslavina County has a population of 144,599, with an average population density of 32.37 per square kilometre, which makes it the third least populated county. According to its size, it is the third biggest county.

The county population is estimated to have shrunk by 8.95% in 2019 in relation to 2015.

The ministry's programme proposes priorities for the county's future development, as well as special goals such as increasing productivity and employment and demographic revitalisation.

As for the post-earthquake reconstruction, the programme sets, as special goals, the reconstruction of housing and commercial units and infrastructure as well as the construction of new ones.

The programme is currently under public consultation.

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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Banovina Motorway Delayed Again Due to Public Tender Appeals

June the 23rd, 2021 - The Banovina motorway, often referred to as the Banovina ''rescue'' motorway has seen progress delayed once again following appeals launched.

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes, Croatian Motorways has just announced the receipt of an appeal against the public procurement tender for the selection of a contractor for the construction of a 300 million kuna section of the Zagreb-Sisak motorway, known as the Banovina motorway.

''The appeal filed against the change of procurement documentation prevents the continuation of public procurement,'' HAC said on the occasion of a new appeal being launched against the tender for the completion of the Zagreb-Sisak highway, more specifically for the section of the A11 highway from Lekenik to Sisak.

It should be noted that after HAC invited interested companies to submit their bids for the construction of the Lekenik-Sisak section on March the 8th this year, the Bulgarian company Trace Group Hold complained to the State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement Procedures (DKOM) on May the 27th.

However, DKOM rejected the appeal of the aforementioned Bulgarian company because, according to the explanation of the Commission, no proof of payment of the appeal fee was provided. This, however, only temporarily blocked the public tender for A11 because a new appeal was lodged.

According to HAC's original plan for the completion of the so-called Banovina motorway, the opening of the bids received for the tender was scheduled for May the 27th, which was postponed until further notice by Trace Group Hold's appeal. Therefore, the announcement of the Croatian Government that the construction of the Lekenik-Sisak section could start in autumn this year must be dropped.

According to the tender documentation, the company that will be entrusted with the construction of the Banovina motorway or ''rescue'' motorway is expected to complete the work within two years from the start of construction.

The state began building the 47.5-kilometre Zagreb-Sisak highway back in 2006 and cut it off in May 2009, completing the section from Mraclin to Busevac. Construction continued a few years later, and in 2015 the 11.2-kilometre-long Buševec-Lekenik section was completed, with almost all activities being halted for many years. The construction of the A11 was intensified after the earthquake that hit Sisak and Banovina back in December last year and was declared the ''rescue highway'' for the area.

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Saturday, 22 May 2021

Central State Office Seeks Designers for 3000 Banovina Houses

May the 22nd, 2021 - The reconstruction of earthquake-stricken Central Croatia is ongoing, and now those in charge of the process are on the lookout for as many as 3000 designers for future Banovina houses.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/VL/Josip Bohutinski writes, the organised reconstruction of Banovina houses which were destroyed or otherwise deverely damaged during earthquakes in the area at the very end of last year is finally in full swing as hopes for normality swell.

The Central State Office for Housing has initiated the process of drafting projects and expert supervision over the repair of non-structural elements in the earthquake damaged homes, which number 3000, in the Sisak-Moslavina region, as well as those located in the nearby Karlovac and Zagreb counties.

A tender for these services should be announced over the coming days, and the estimated value of this procurement stands at a massive 15 million kuna without VAT, and includes the preparation of 3,000 repair projects for non-structural elements, the expert supervision of the repair work for those 3,000 Banovina houses, and the preparation of findings for structural renovation of 300 family houses with higher levels of damage.

This envisages the design and supervision of works on 100 houses in Gvozd, 100 houses in Karlovac, 600 houses in Sisak, 1,300 houses in Petrinja, 350 houses in Glina, 50 houses in Topusko, 50 houses in Pokupsko and Kravarski, 50 houses in Lasinja, Draganic and Karlovac, 100 houses in Vojnic, Krnjak, Josipdol, Ogulin and Slunj, 50 houses in Hrvatska Dubica and Jesenovac, 50 houses in Dvor, 50 houses in Hrvatska Kostajnica, 100 houses in Majur and Donji Kukuruzari and 50 houses in Sunja and Martinska Vesa. The deadline for the execution of the design contract is 30 days from the receipt of the list of the houses, while the deadline for the professional supervision is 30 days from the end of the contractor's own contract.

The deadline for the execution of public procurement contracts is January the 31st, 2022.

According to the prepared tender documentation, in case the contracting bidder fails to fulfill their obligation and doesn't perform the services according to the established stages of the dynamics of service provision or is late with the fulfillment of the contractual obligation within the agreed deadline, the client has the right to calculate a contractual penalty of 100 kuna per day for each day of exceeding the deadline. The total amount of the contractual penalty may not exceed the amount of ten percent of the agreed price without VAT.

The Central Office will soon announce a tender for the services of organisation, coordination, planning and management of the process of the organised earthquake reconstruction of damaged Banovina houses. These will be operational coordinators, the value of which is estimated at 3.6 million kuna.

The services which will be required by this tender include, among other things, the preparation, review, amendment and supplementation of new items of the standard cost estimate for the full repair of damaged non-structural elements, the preparation of a standard project and standard instructions on how to repair non-structural elements with all necessary attachments and studies included, the introduction and control of contractual obligations of those contractors carrying out repairs and contractors performing professional supervision in accordance with the programme of measures and more.

This tender also applies to 3,000 houses in the Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties.

The Central Office states that they have already concluded contracts for the construction of 1,060 family houses. They explain that the renovation of non-structural elements refers to the renovation of Banovina houses marked with a green sticker, where non-structural elements can be chimneys, roof cornices and parapets, gable walls, non-load-bearing or partition walls, roof parts, tiles etc.

The Office says that the works on the renovation of non-constructive elements began on May the 3rd, when the works on the renovation of the family house of Tomislav Klaric in Petrinja started. So far, they say, 6486 requests have been received for the renovation of non-constructive elements.

Public procurement in June

At the beginning of June, public procurement procedures will be initiated for operational coordinators based on the submitted requests from the owners of damaged facilities, of which there are currently around 8000. The deadline for the submission of those applications is open and will go on until the 31st of December, 2021.

Prior to the inspection of the buildings in the Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Zagreb counties, out of a total of 37,000 inspected buildings, 8,400 were marked with a yellow mark, and 4,700 with a red mark - the Office said, noting that the assessment of the value of works on the reconstruction of non-constructive elements will be possible only after the preparation of said project documentation.

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Friday, 30 April 2021

Over 38,000 Candidates To Run in Croatia's Local Elections

ZAGREB, 30 April, 2021 - More than 38,000 candidates have submitted their nominations for executive and representative positions in the 16 May local elections, State Electoral Commission (DIP) president Đuro Sessa told a press conference on Friday.

Sessa reported on the number of submitted slates and nominations as the filing deadline expired at midnight.

There are 7,104 candidates on the slates for county assemblies, including the City of Zagreb, which has the status of a county, and 28,867 candidates on the slates for city and municipal councils.

A total of 225 people are running for county prefects and their deputies, including the candidates for Zagreb mayor and deputy mayor, and 1,901 candidates are in the race for municipal heads and mayors, including their deputies.

Eleven candidates running for mayors of Split and Rijeka

In Split and Rijeka there are 11 mayoral candidates, ten candidates are running for Zagreb mayor and seven for Osijek mayor.

After local electoral commissions announce valid nominations, electioneering will officially start in counties, cities and municipalities, and will last until midnight on 14 May, when a two-day electioneering ban starts.

The Saturday before the elections and the election Sunday are days of election silence, and the same rule will apply in the second round of the vote, to be held on 30 May.

There will be 6,572 polling stations, and each polling committee will have ten members, Sessa said.

Twenty-five tents to be set up for elections in earthquake-struck Banovina

The conduct of local elections has also been ensured in the earthquake-hit area.

Twenty-five tents will be set up the day before the elections in places where it is not possible to have polling stations inside buildings, said Sessa, adding that there will be eight tents in Glina, seven in Petrinja, four in Sisak, and three each in Donji Kukuruzari and Majur.

He called on voters to adhere to epidemiological measures.

He also confirmed that voters from the Banovina region who had moved away after the earthquake would not be able to cast their vote in another location, adding that he understands their problem but that it is not legally possible to conduct the elections differently.

There will be 14 million ballots in the elections and the organisation would be too difficult logistically, he said.

He recalled that all participants would have to enter their reports on advertising spending in a special IT system, which is a novelty in these elections. They will have to do that seven days before the elections and 30 days after them, Sessa said, noting that all data on finances will be released in one place, DIP's website.

Infected persons and those in self-isolation to vote under same conditions as in July

Persons in self-isolation and those infected with coronavirus will vote in the same way they did in July in the parliamentary elections. Polling committee members will come to their homes, and those infected will be able to cast their vote with the help of another person to avoid contact between polling committee members and an infected person, the DIP president said.

DIP spokesman Slaven Hojski said the election results would be released on election day starting from 9 p.m. and would be updated every 15 minutes.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.



Thursday, 4 March 2021

Deputy PM Medved: "Initial Quick Inspections Should Be Completed in 10 Days' Time"

ZAGREB, 4 March 2021 - Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved said on Thursday that inspections of the remaining 2,000 buildings damaged in the December earthquake should be inspected in the next 10 days, which would bring initial quick inspections to a completion.

"So far a total of 35,772 buildings have been inspected, 4,227 that were labelled red (unfit for use), as well as 7,743 buildings labelled yellow (temporarily unfit for use)," Medved said during a cabinet meeting.

Medved heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December earthquake, underscored that a list was being updated of hazardous buildings and that documents for their demolition were being prepared.

He added that so far 2,883 people from earthquake-affected areas in central Croatia had temporarily registered their residence in other towns throughout the country.

He also said that 2,897 applications for reconstruction had been submitted.

Medved advised  that 51 polling stations in earthquake-hit areas have experienced damage and that in agreement with the State Electoral Commission the task force will arrange for alternative localities for polling stations for the local election in May.

Medved added that temporary accommodation is still being organised and to date 1,594 housing containers or mobile homes have been set up.

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