A EUR 1.3 billion investment, the construction of the subway line that will connect Bucharest to Henri Coanda (Otopeni) International Airport raises controversies at the highest level. The European Commission has asked Metrorex for explanations: why the new subway line costs so much and bypasses the city centre. The company has announced it will clarify the matter in two months. Meanwhile, on the current projected line, real estate projects worth hundreds of millions of EUR start to appear, stiri.tvr.ro informs.
Metrorex is to start expropriations in view of building the M6 subway line, although the project comes under the European Commission’s criticism. The officials in Brussels have requested clarification why the line is so long and winding, 14 km with 12 stations, to connect the airport to the ‘1 Mai’ station and further to the North Railway Station and a shorter option is not considered, to connect it the downtown station of Piata Victoriei. At stake are the cost and the distance to the city centre.
Metrorex former Director, Octavian Udriste, says the direct connection between the main city railway station and the main airport was envisaged. Furthermore, the new line would connect Pajura neighbourhood and Romexpo international fair facilities, so that many foreigners attending the fairs could have a direct link.
Other options would be to extend the current subway line to Pipera further on to Otopeni Airport, in which case only several stations would be needed, journalist Bogdan Alecu says.
Meanwhile, the real estate developers are already taking steps for new constructions in the Expozitiei area, in northern Bucharest, having in view the current project of the new subway line. According to sources, investments worth EUR 300 million are in line, for building offices and residential ensembles of 1,000 flats.
In view of building the new line, Metrorex has a grant from the Government of Japan worth EUR 330 million and the EUR 1 billion remaining are to be provided from the state budget and with European funding.