Unbuilt Sewage Treatment Plants Cost Montenegro Taxpayers Millions

But in 2014, the Democratic Party of Socialists, which had run Rozaje for two decades, lost power in the municipality.

The new municipal authorities, led by the Bosniak Party and the Social Democratic Party, then suddenly decided to build the wastewater treatment plant at another location.

As a result, the site study had to be carried out again but the new authorities could not get the money from the EU's IPA fund. The money was instead diverted to resolving wastewater issues in other municipalities which were more prepared to build plants.

The municipality of Rozaje told BIRN and the Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, CIN CG, that the reason for the change of location was because the facility would have been too expensive at the original site because a pumping station would also need to be built there.

Rozaje. Photo: Vuk Vujisic

"Although the study predicted that [original] location was the best, it was considered that this solution should be abandoned," the municipality said.]

This is just one example of how several Montenegrin municipalities have been left without wastewater treatment plants due to poor decisions by the local authorities, which have also failed to take advantage of the money that was granted to them for the projects.

BIRN/CIN CG's research shows that seven Montenegrin municipalities - Rozaje, Plav, Bijelo Polje, Kolašin, Danilovgrad, Cetinje and Ulcinj - lost the chance to receive more than ten million euros that had been pledged through grant schemes for the construction of the wastewater treatment plants.

The municipalities' failure to build the plants will also cost Montenegro's state budget almost 20 million euros, because years of delays have led to increased...

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