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Tuesday, 8 May, 2001, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Water restored to Novi Sad
Novi Sad bridge
All three of Novi Sad's Danube bridges were destroyed
By Central Europe reporter Nick Thorpe

Normal water supply will be restored to tens of thousands of inhabitants of Yugoslavia's second city on Tuesday for the first time since Nato bombing raids two years ago.

The raids destroyed the three main bridges across the Danube river in Novi Sad and with them a crucial water pipe which ran under one of the bridges.

Kostunica
The project began soon after Vojislav Kostunica became president
That piping system has now been restored with funds from Britain, one of the countries which sent planes to bomb the city in 1999.

Of all the Danube bridges destroyed by Nato, the loss of the Varadin bridge hurt the citizens of Novi Sad most.

Not only did it connect the ancient fort of Petro Varadin with the city, they also depended on it for their drinking water.

Last year the bridge itself was rebuilt by the city council and now the water pipe which passed beneath it has been restored.

Danube bridge
Debris continues to prevent navigation on the river
The restoration project, overseen by engineers from Novi Sad's twin city in Britain, Norwich, cost nearly $500,000.

The project began after the fall from power of President Slobodan Milosevic last October.

The pipe will supply drinking water to tens of thousands of inhabitants from wells set in the hill beneath the fortress.

The debris of other bridges in the city continues to prevent normal navigation of the river, to the frustration of countries like Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, which once relied on the Danube as an important transport artery between the Baltic and Black Seas.

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27 Nov 00 | Europe
Picking up the pieces in Novi Sad
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