Bucharest mayor insists recent breakdown of city’s central heating system was due to ‘sabotage’
Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea maintained that the recent recent breakdown of the city’s central heating system was due to “an industrial sabotage” and said she was warned “that something like this would happen,” News.ro reported.
Two of Bucharest’s six districts were left without hot water and central heating after a failure of the heating distribution network on February 7. On February 10, the mayor announced the breakdown was repaired and that all the impacted 300 blocks of flats will start receiving hot water and heating.
“We maintain the opinion that this was an intentional mistake of [thermal energy producer] ELCEN, we maintain the point of view that this was an industrial sabotage resulting in the citizens getting punished […] only to have a political attack on the general mayor. I was warned a while back that this would happen. I thought it was a joke, but it turned out that it wasn’t and a major malfunction occurred, the most complex one in this system in the past 20 years; it could have been much worse,” Firea said at a press conference on February 10.
Over the weekend, the mayor, who is a member of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) pointed to a a "sabotage" of the Bucharest Power Plant (ELCEN), which is controlled by the Liberal Government. She blamed ELCEN for having delivered to the municipal distribution network water at a temperature well above the requirements, which damaged the distribution network. In its turn, ELCEN said the problem was the city’s heating distribution network, which is on the verge of collapse, and accused the City Hall of having failed to perform the necessary repairs.
On Monday, the mayor again said the ELCEN administrator was a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and that he was not “held accountable” by the Economy minister. She also said that the delivery of water into the heating distribution network at temperature of 119 degrees Celsisus “could not have been random.”
The mayor said that a complaint will be filed for the “sabotage” of the central heating distribution system.
She said the municipality would make a down payment to ELCEN if the City Hall receives money from the Government, from the reserve fund, or a loan “under advantageous terms” from the Treasury.
The Bucharest municipality pushed into bankruptcy former heating distribution company RADET causing significant losses to ELCEN, then transferred the distribution activity to a brand new company, Termoenergetica, which is also late in paying its bills to ELCEN.
The mayor argued that the heating distribution system was “politicized” and that the pipes “became national stars” which were also mentioned in the presidential campaign.
She also expressed the “serious and clear intention to take over ELCEN at the City Hall.”
(Photo: Primaria Municipiului Bucuresti Facebook Page)