|Hopes for a better future after the successful implementation of ROADS Project|
Hopes for a better future
ROADS is a cross border cooperation project (2.581.538,93 €), jointly drafted and implemented by the Bulgarian and Greek Municipalities of Gotse Delchev and Oraiokastro and it is one of the projects funded under the European Territorial Cooperation Programme “Greece- Bulgaria 2007-2013”, that turned out to be a life changing initiative.
At the project’s planning phase the main objective set by the partners was to improve the condition of the road network in the broader region of Gotse Delchev and Oraiokastro aiming to support the socio-economic development of the cross border area. Now, few months after the finalization of the construction works of the road section Breznitsa–Charka (around 5,5 kilometers), the 3.413 inhabitants of the Gotse Delchev’s village of Breznitsa could not be more excited of the outcome. The once covered with holes and cracks road connecting the municipal center to the beautiful mountain village of Breznitsa is now reconstructed, newly asphalted, providing safer and more comfortable conditions for its users and reducing the travelling times drastically.
What do people of Breznitsa say about ROADS
Here is what people from the village tucked in the foot of Pirin Mountain say about the way this cross border project changed the access to their home settlements and revived the prospective of the village:
Isa Sakali, Mayor: According to the Mayor of village of Breznitsa, the new asphalting of a road section represents a dream that came truth for many generations of people living in Breznitsa. The Charka area is a recreation area and the implementation of ROADS project served as an impulse for the construction of many family owned villas. Thus, Charka has become an attractive place for rest and recreation during the festive days and holidays. “Charka is a very picturesque place near village of Breznitsa. I and many of the villagers like to go there for a picnic during the summer days. Those trips were difficult in the past, because the road was in a very bad condition. The project has eased the traveling. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, I use the new road regularly for business trips. And so do many other people.” said Mr. Sakali.
Isa Kadi, 12th grade student:“Many people from the village cultivate the land fields along the road, so does my family. Before the reconstruction of the road network, it was really hard for us to go to our fields because the road was in bad condition. Now traveling is a pleasure. It takes us only 10 minutes to get there”.
ROADS is the first project implemented in Breznitsa with EU funding. Apart from its necessity, the implementation of this project achieved something that is maybe of equal worthiness. ROADS made the people from Breznitsa feel that they are equal members of the European Union family.
Isa Mersim, worker: The asphalting of this road section gives also hopes for realization of a new project for asphalting the Breznitsa-Dobrinishte road. “The asphalting of the Breznitsa-Dobrinishte road will be an alternative road for the Gotse Delchev-Sofia road.” shared Mr. Mersim and added “The presence of the Mayor of the neighboring Greek Municipality during the opening ceremony made the people of Breznitsa feel that our village is actually part of the European Union. The project gives us hope that the infrastructure facilities in Bresnitsa will be gradually improved”.
Despite the construction difficulties and challenges faced during the project’s implementation the people of Breznitsa are now confident that with cross border cooperation within the European Union framework a better future for the region can be achieved.