For the second time, heavy rain brings down fence at Bulgarian - Turkish border

For the second time, heavy rain brings down fence at Bulgarian - Turkish border

Part of the fence built by Bulgaria at the border with Turkey to stem illegal migration has fallen for a second time, brought down by heavy rain in the Malko Turnovo area, reports on December 6 said.

The controversial and highly costly fence project was begun in 2013 by the "Oresharski" government, in response to a significant increase in refugees fleeing war-torn Syria. The initial 30km of the project has been extended with the ambition of covering all of Bulgaria's border with Turkey by the Borissov government.

In October 2017, it emerged that rain had carved huge holes under the fence, while photos emerged at the time of people using stepladders to climb over it.

Bulgarian media reported Bourgas regional governor Vulcho Cholakov as saying that the December 2018 collapse of the fence, about 12km from Malko Turnovo, was caused by heavy rain.

It was expected that the damage would be repaired in about a week.

Pending the repairs, Bulgarian Border Police have deployed additional patrols to guard the area, Cholakov said.

He said that the damage was not because of poor quality, but because heavy rain had shifted massives of earth, stones and trees that had damaged the fence. Cholakov said that he saw no reason for the contractor to be penalised.

The fence extension project was awarded without a public procurement process, after Bulgaria's Parliament amended the law to allow this. The 132km stretch covered by the extension is reportedly costing about 1.3 million leva (about 650 000 euro) a kilometre./IBNA

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