Thursday, 6 June 2019

43rd Sitting of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee

At the sitting held on 6 June, the members of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee deliberated on the flood situation in Serbia.

Representatives of PE “Srbijavode” (Waters of Serbia), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and public-private enterprise “Vojvodina vode” (Waters of Vojvodina) presented the data on the causes of the floods and the anti-flood defence system.

Zvonimir Kocic of PE “Srbijavode” said that the company is in charge of the anti-flood system in part of central Serbia, south of Sava and the Danube, and the flood waterways. He responsibly claimed that the company was ready for flood control. It reacted in line with the information the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia and first warnings of possible floods in April, said Kocic. He said that the main cause of the floods is the unusual volume of rainfall which is a natural phenomenon beyond control and not the defence system which was fully prepared. Kocic briefed the Committee members on the company’s activities before the first flood wave and on the information from the 99 flooded areas in Serbia and 18 most critical places such as Krupanj and Obrenovac.

Velimir Stanojevic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, spoke about the precipitations and the flood damage, saying that only the first wave saw 80-120 l/m2 of rainfall and some local self-governments declared a flood emergency on their territories, adding that damages were reported in Novi Pazar, Tutin, Knic, Arilje, Kraljevo, Lucani, Pozega, Ivanjica, Cacak, Koceljeva, Krupanj, Sremska Mitrovica and Vrnjacka Banja. The Ministry now has preliminary data on the damage to crops and agricultural fields submitted by some local self-governments with the areas of flooded agricultural land being several hundreds of ha per municipality, said Stanojevic. He also said that there has been damage to the infrastructure, local and uncategorized roads, as well as class I and class II roads. In the last five years, 500 projects were realized and 100 million EUR invested into flood defence programmes, not counting the activities of PE “Srbijavode” and public-private enterprise “Vojvodina vode”. Stanojevic also spoke about the anti-hail protection system and the operation of anti-hail stations this year.

Aleksandar Nikolic of public-private enterprise “Vojvodina vode” briefed the Committee members on the situation and rainfall in Vojvodina where Banat, Srem and the south of Backa were hit the worst.

Following a lengthy discussion the Committee members adopted a Conclusion recommending to the Government of the Republic of Serbia, local self-governments, relevant authorities and public-private enterprises to focus on remedying the aftermath of the floods and recompense the damages, as well as employ preventive measures to mitigate the fallout of any future natural disasters.

The Committee members then went on to discuss the export of animal products from Serbia.

Committee Chairman Marijan Risticevic said that he has read the report of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance on the export of meat and the irregularities because of which it had been banned from slaughterhouses in Serbia for 60 days.

The Committee were briefed on the report by representatives of the Veterinary Directorate’s Directorate for the National Reference Laboratory.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Marijan Risticevic and was attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Mladen Lukic, Zarko Bogatinovic, Milorad Mircic, Arpad Fremond, Prof. Dr Miladin Sevarlic, Radovan Jancic, Veroljub Matic, Marjana Maras, Nada Lazic, Jasmina Obradovic, Milija Miletic, Aleksandra Jevtic and Dr Boban Birmancevic.

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