Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic says that the modernization of the Belgrade-Nis railway is being discussed and that it will require at least EUR 200 million.
– This is a strategic corridor and I hope that we will reach an agreement on how to fund it, as it is not simple, seeing how the modernization of the railway requires at least EUR 200 million. It takes five hours to travel down that route, which is preposterous – Mihajlovic said.
She added that there had been large investments in the road and railway infrastructure in the previous two years and that the tunnel which had collapsed the previous week on the Belgrade-Bar railway had been repaired the day before.
– But this is not enough. The entire railway needs to be modernized – Mihajlovic said and noted that it was not merely a matter of tourism and passenger transport, but also a matter of economy.
– We are having talks with the Russian Railways and I truly expect that the cooperation will continue and that they will help us modernize and maintain the railway – Mihajlovic said and added that there was a lack of expertise in planning and performing construction works because there hadn't been any investments in a long time.
The minister cited the data that there were 400 kilometers of railways in Serbia which hadn't been used since 1992, which were overgrown with weeds, while the Serbian Railways paid taxes and contributions for it.
– We will close those sections down, which will immediately reduce our expenses and help regulate old debts between the Railways and EPS and reduce the number of people. On the other hand, investments in the Serbian Railways amount to EUR 3 billion, which is a huge sum – she pointed out.