Serbia plans to invest 345 million euro in the upgrade of waterways on the rivers Danube, Sava and Tisa and the Danube–Tisa–Danube (DTD) Canal and in the revitalization of the country's shipping and shipbuilding industries, the transportation ministry said on Tuesday.
As it was stated at the panel discussion "Rivers of Serbia: How to Achieve More Efficient Water Transportation," it is necessary to renew Serbia's stumbling fleet, revive the country's shipbuilding industry and involve the supporting industry.
Assistant Minister Mirjana Trifunovic said that the Ministry of Transportation had already had certain talks on that topic with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, adding that a task force would be formed within the Ministry of Transportation.
Ms. Trifunovic said that the plan was to prepare a mini feasibility study that should give a recommendation on how to renew Serbia's fleet.
Vessels in the Serbian fleet are over 40 years old on average, and only 311 out of the total of 939 boats in Serbia are approved for sailing, with about 643 being occasionally active.
Transportation Minister Milutin Mrkonjic told Tanjug news agency that water transportation was much more cost-efficient, efficient and safe, thus arising as a logical choice.
He added that all European transportation strategies insisted on the advantages of inland navigation.
The plan is to invest EUR 267.7 million in 29 projects on the Danube, EUR 14.4 million in 13 projects on the Sava, EUR 16 million in nine projects on the Tisa, and EUR 47 million in 30 projects on the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal.