The government canceled the territorial reserves for the Danube-Odra-Labe canal, thus ending the project

The government canceled the territorial reserves for the Danube-Odra-Labe canal, thus ending the project

The government canceled the land reserves for the Danube-Odra-Canal Labe, the project ends like that

Minister of Transport Martin Kupka (ODS) at a press conference after the government meeting in Prague, February 8, 2023.

Prague – The government canceled territorial reserves for the Danube-Odra-Labe water corridor. The government Pirates informed about this in a press release, Transport Minister Martin Kupka (ODS) confirmed this to ČTK. The cancellation of the territorial protection of the future route of the canal effectively means the end of this project, which was promoted by President Miloš Zeman. The government coalition committed to canceling the channel in a program statement. Moravian-Silesian Deputy Governor Jakub Unucka (ODS) and Ostrava Mayor Tomáš Macura (ANO) told ČTK that they welcome the government's decision. The Zlín Region also welcomes it.

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The government has canceled the land reserves for the Danube-Odra-Labe canal project that's the end

“We have now approved the removal of the territorial reserve for the entire Danube-Oder-Labe connection and canceled a number of related historical government resolutions,” Kupka wrote to ČTK. He stated that the current government did not spend a single crown on the preparation of the canal, calling the whole project senseless.

At the press conference after the government meeting, Kupka said that the government wants to focus on meaningful projects in water transport. As an example, he mentioned the construction of moorings for small vessels and tourist boats on the Elbe or the development of the navigability conditions of the Elbe and Vltava. With regard to the Polish plans for the construction of the Oder canal, according to Kupka, the government will prepare an economic, transport and ecological study on whether it would make sense to connect a section of several kilometers on the Czech side.

Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš (Pirates) stated that the canal is a dead project after the government's decision today. “The project does not make economic sense and poses a huge risk to the landscape and its ecosystems. It would be a huge waste of public funds and our natural wealth,” he said. He emphasized that the freed land will be able to be used for the meaningful development of municipalities.

and connected by the operation of the canal,” said Ostrava Mayor Macura.

Unucka said that the region considered the project senseless and unnecessary from the beginning. “However, it is necessary to curb everyone's enthusiasm that they will build in that corridor right away, because the state has changed its reserve in the state spatial plan, it must be rewritten in the regional principles of territorial development, and this must then be rewritten in the spatial plan of individual municipalities, which is process for roughly five to seven years,” Unucka said.

According to Unucka, the region supported only the minimalist version of the Odra to Bohumín. “We said that we see this as an alternative to importing gas into the region. If the government has now put the Stork 2 gas pipeline on the table, then there will be a gas pipeline to Poland, and my opinion is that there is no need to float the Odra even to Bohumín,” said Unucka.

The Deputy Governor of the Zlín Region, Hana Ančincová (Piráti), who, among other things, is in charge of the environment, also welcomed the abolition of territorial reserves for the Danube-Odra-Labe water corridor. She described the intention as megalomaniac, she saw no rational justification in it. “It would significantly change the character of the landscape and threaten the existing ecosystems. I think that even the planned investment of around 600 billion crowns would not be final. It would be a waste of public funds. They can certainly be used much better,” Ančincová told ČTK today.

The territory along the planned route of the corridor has been blocked since 2010, when its protection was introduced by the then government of Jan Fischer. Today's cabinet decision means that the territory will be unblocked. Earlier, the municipalities along the route of the canal spoke out in favor of this step, which described the territorial reserves as an obstacle to their development.

Today's decision of the government does not concern possible modifications of the Elbe flow in the section from Pardubice to the Czech Republic/Germany state border and the Vltava flow in the section Mělník – Prague – České Budějovice.

According to the feasibility study prepared by the previous cabinet of Andrej Babiš (ANO), the project was supposed to cost almost 586 billion crowns. According to supporters, the project, which has been promoted by President Zeman for a long time, would bring economic opportunities, at the same time it would help the dying shipping traffic in the Czech Republic and enable better water management. On the other hand, ecologists objected that the corridor would destroy the remains of the relatively natural ecosystems of Central Europe and have a significant negative impact on the country's landscape and water regime.