On Tuesday, March 26, the public presentation and discussion of a megaproject – the Skanstes tram line – occurred at a fast pace in Riga City Hall.
It is true that there is still a great question as to whether it will cease to be funded because after the Criminal Investigation and Combating Corruption (KNAB) Department has initiated a criminal investigation into the acquisition of "Rīgas satiksme", European funds remain " frozen ".
Skanstes tramways, with an ambiguous classification, are estimated at around 100 million euros. The majority of these, or EUR 66 million, is intended to be covered by European Union (EU) funds. EUR 27 million will be co-financed by Rīgas satiksme. It is true that, due to corruption scandals, money from European funds is now suspended for the project.
To avoid possible financial risks to European funds, the central finance and contract agency stopped co-financing payments for the new tram line at the end of last year. According to agency director Mārtiņš Brencis – if a fraud or corrupt activity is detected in the fund project, funding for the project will be withdrawn immediately. Since January, the documents submitted by "Rīgas satiksme" have been evaluated, but by the end of this week the Agency awaits information on the financial situation of the company.
Brencis: Of course, you should also talk about purchasing documentation and everything. These questions are known to the customer and he is working on it.
TV3 News: To what extent does KNAB's investigation of possible corruption scandals affect the funding of EU funds, what will they discover will not be revealed?
Brencis: Directly. Based on KNAB information, we have decided to suspend this funding, and this is a direct correlation with KNAB activities in the most direct way. The customer knows this wonderfully.
Currently, the Skanstes tram project will have to declare purchases for line construction and purchase of rolling stock. "Rīgas satiksme" is convinced that the timetable will adjust and that European funds will not be lost.
"Of course, we can only do this project if we can get the money. And this is also the case, that around 70 million euros in principle are given to us by Europe, we invest 30 million of ourselves, "says Viktor Zaiks, the representative of" Rīgas satiksme. "
"Rīgas satiksme" still believes that the design of the Skanstes tram is useful. The benefit will be not only the 12 new trams, but also the line segments that will allow streetcars to move to neighborhoods in the future.
"One of the most important arguments often mentioned is that the trams should be for Pļavnieki, Purvciems and Dreiliņi, so now the cargo on Barona Street is so intense that we can not even put extra trams there. But by creating this circular movement, we can divide its flows and then it becomes possible, "explains Hare.
The presentation and discussion of Skanste's tram line will take place in Riga City Hall tonight. However, opponents of the so-called Tomb Tram & # 39; emphasized that the public debate was stolen because all decisions were made long ago.
There were also criticisms that the tramline was planned on Skanstes Street, not where it needed more, as it would benefit individual private developers.