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Ft 110 bln drinking water project launched in southeast Hungary

Representatives from the Ministry for Environment and Water Management, the Prime Minister's Office and the regional development council signed an agreement in Kecskemét on Tuesday on a Ft 110 billion program to improve the quality of drinking water in Hungary's Southern Great Plain region. Under the program, the quality of drinking water will be improved for more than 1 million people living in 217 cities and towns by the end of 2009, László Balogh, who heads the Southern Great Plains Regional Development Council, said at the signing. EU funding is planned to cover 60% of the project's costs, the central budget will pay for 30% and local councils will finance 10%. Technical plans for the project will be drawn up in 2006, and an application for EU Cohesion Funds will be submitted in 2007. Preparations for the project will cost close to Ft 2 billion, with the state paying Ft 1.5 billion and local councils contributing a combined Ft 400 million.