– We do not want a slaughter of investments on the right bank of our city. We want to feel like first-class residents, Prague activists said on Friday. They organized the conference in a place where officials promised to build a tunnel connecting Praga North with Praga South. The investment is in doubt.
Social activists from several organizations invited journalists to the area of the Eastern Railway Station, where, right behind them, as part of the renovation of the cross-city line, a tunnel connecting Praga Północ and Praga Południe was to be built. However, as we have already informed on tvnwarszawa.pl, the fate of the investment is uncertain – there is no money and there is no agreement with the railwaymen.
“We will be able to dream about the tunnel”
– It looks like we can only dream of the tunnel. Despite dismissal of vice-president Robert Soszyński Since the project and the resumption of talks with PKP by Vice-President Michał Olszewski, it seems that a solution has clearly not been found – said Krzysztof Daukszewicz from the association “Understanding for Prague”.
From 40 to 100 million zlotys is needed and officials need to get along with railwaymen. There is little time to obtain from the European Union. This is overlapped by the expected lower revenues to the city budget, which after the introduction of the Polish Deal may shrink by approximately PLN 1.7 billion.
– In connection with the Polish Government, planned changes in taxes and general drops in the budget of local governments related to the pandemic, unfortunately, each zloty entered in the Long-Term Financial Forecast must be weighted twice. The only question is whether it is possible to win EU funding in such a short time when starting work in Eastern Warsaw in 2023 – said Krzysztof Daukszewicz.
As he assessed, from the point of view of the inhabitants of right-bank Warsaw, this is “very sad news”.
– Unfortunately, there are no good views to build a connection that would shorten the largest railway barrier in the capital, i.e. the barrier stretching from Targowa to Chełmżyńska Street, which is almost six kilometers long. There is not a single ride on this length – he said.
He also noted that the attitude of the mayor of the district, who, according to him, did not participate in any meeting with railwaymen on this issue, was shocking. – Although President Rafał Trzaskowski declares his willingness to invest many millions of zlotys in infrastructure on the right bank of the Vistula, in infrastructure in Praga, it seems that it will be limited only to the metro – added Daukszewicz.
Tadeusz Rudzki from the “Wiatrak” association spoke about investments in Praga Południe.
– In Praga Południe, we also did not notice the district authorities being interested in this investment, so passivity prevails. The residents of right-bank Warsaw begin to feel like second-class residents. We have the impression that at every possible opportunity, when there is an opportunity to give up an investment, it is in our part of the city that it begins with this type of savings – he said.
As he added, it is not only about high-profile, large investments, but also local ones. – Example: the renovation of Saska, which took place last year, covered only a part of this street, not the entire street, because we are only being spared – he criticized. – Similarly, the bicycle path along Washington. We have been hearing about it for years, and subsequent delivery dates are being given. Despite the fact that it is a popular route, it leads to Śródmieście, but there is still no bicycle path there – he noted.
He also pointed out that the residents are still waiting for information on the renovation of the Poniatowski Bridge. – On Washington Avenue every few weeks there is a water supply failurewhich blocks traffic and cuts off water for a while. These are situations that repeat themselves, so refurbishment is needed there. Nobody probably remembers the extension of the tram line to Marsa z Grochowska Street anymore. One could list this for a long time – he said.
– But we are surprised that if there is an opportunity to make one long-awaited investment with railwaymen, then such opportunities are not taken advantage of. The only thing we are promised is another metro line, but ordering further studies on its route does not improve our situation, argued Rudzki.
“Investment Ezeź of Prague”
Kuba Czajkowski from the association Miasto jest Nasze pointed out that with every investment put away in a drawer, the town hall excuses itself with “lack of funds”.
– Nevertheless, as we will notice in the Multiannual Financial Perspective, there are very expensive investments, for several hundred million zlotys, which are planned and which are more important for the town hall. Among other things, an additional viaduct to Mars for two hundred million zlotys. This viaduct will not be of any benefit to the inhabitants of Warsaw, as it will force additional traffic into the center of our city – he commented. – You have to consider whether the city hall is allocating money for investments that are to improve the lives of Warsaw residents, or for large road investments, for concrete and asphalt – he added.
He noted that activists expect all promised investments to be realized. In protest, in the place where the tunnel is to be built, they hung plaques with the words: Tunel im. The Investment Slaughter of Prague. – We do not want a slaughter of investments on the right bank of our city. We want to feel like people of the first category – said Tchaikovsky.
Contrary to their assurances, they did not sign the contract
The tunnel under the tracks at the Warszawa Wschodnia station was to be built as part of the renovation of the cross-city line, it would constitute a line of the planned Trasa Tysiąclecia between Praga Północ and Praga Południe. In November last year, in response to the protest of local activists demanding its construction, the then spokeswoman of the capital city hall, Karolina Gałecka, assured that Warsaw would sign an agreement with PKP PLK on the design of the route. However, last weeks we informed that, contrary to the assurances, the town hall does not finance the preparations for the construction of the crossing under the Eastern Railway Station.
According to the President of PKP PLK, Ireneusz Merchel, railwaymen want to announce a tender in the second half of 2022, so that the contractor will start work at the Eastern Railway Station in the following year. And then it will be too late to include a tunnel there.
The city also talks with PKP PLK about co-financing a wider range of investments from European Union funds under the OPI & E (Infrastructure and Environment Program), but – as it claims – it depends on the decision of the railway company.
Main photo source: MJN