Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony – Photo: Facebook

Karacsony: Danube embankment flood defences planned along current line

The Budapest municipality is proposing to build a levee along the northern Romai Danube River bank following the current defence line on Kiralyok and Nanasi Streets, as the most effective and safest way to protect the natural environment and leisure spots, Mayor Gergely Karacsony said on Wednesday.

Karacsony said that after a fresh review of the plans, the municipality has proposed returning to the safest option, which also has the broadest public support and the best chance of protecting nature in the area. The levee will be built with European Union support, he added.

Deputy Mayor Gabor Kerpel-Fronius said the municipality conducted “ample research” into Budapest residents’ preferences regarding the plans. The chosen option will preserve the natural state of the embankment and will ensure better flood defences than one directly on the riverbank, he said.

Some 160 trees will have to be felled for the construction, while a levee directly on the riverbank would cost some 700 trees, he said.

At the same time, the levee further inland would cost some 28 billion forints (EUR 74m), 25 percent more than earlier plans, he said.

Timea Szabo of Parbeszed said the previous plans, adopted under the leadership of Mayor Istvan Tarlos of Fidesz, were about “protecting the interests of real-estate speculators”. The current municipality is working to protect nature as well as all those using the embankment as a leisure and sports venue, she said.

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