Prague municipal authorities have approved a series of major changes to the city’s transport system. The alterations will mean that as of September 3, numerous tram and bus lines will be cut while other, longer routes will be added. The city says the changes are needed to save money, but critics argue that they will cause chaos.
Ten years after devastating floods hit Prague, authorities in the Czech capital are staging a flood drill on Saturday. Firefighters, soldiers and volunteers began erecting anti-flood barriers on the right bank of the Vltava River in central Prague which has been closed for traffic. Barriers were also erected outside some metro stations in Prague’s Old Town. The authorities are testing new pumps which should get water out of local wells. People can also take part in the drill; on the Žofín island, they can join contests in building barriers. The drill will end by Saturday night.
Prague’s underground car traffic tunnel, known as Blanka, will reach a final price tag of 36 billion crowns, according to a report obtained from Prague municipal authorities by the newspaper Hospodářské Noviny. The tunnel, which is set to open in May 2014, will provide a traffic bypass from the north to the south-west of the city. Construction on the roughly 6.4 km tunnel began in 2007, with an initial estimated price tag of 28 billion crowns, according to then major Pavel Bém. Engineering challenges in the digging of the tunnel are said to be behind the increased costs. However, city authorities are claiming that they managed to reduce costs from escalating to 38 billion, saving 2 billion crowns. The tunnel is being built by the private firm Metrostav, with finances coming from both Prague and the national government.
In this week’s Arts my guest is Czech Photo’s Daniela Mrázková, the curator of an exhibition marking 10 years since the 2002 floods that devastated Prague and other parts of the Czech Republic. Based on an earlier show of works by some of the country’s best photographers, the exhibition is also accompanied by a brand-new book.
A Prague court has ordered insolvency proceedings against the company E Side Property which owns the football stadium in Eden, home to the Slavia football club. The bankruptcy order was lodged by the Sokolov city hall on the grounds that E Side Property owes the city a debt of several million crowns which it has proved unable to repay. A representative of the Cyprian firm Kingwater Holdings which is the new owner of E Side Property said the order was unnecessary since Kingwater Holdings was taking steps to repay the debt.
The national vehicle registration system is reportedly in working order after weeks of malfunctions. A deputy to the transport minister said the parties involved in the problem had held an all-night crisis meeting and that all stations were now processing applications successfully. Nonetheless, officials at the stations say the system remains slower than the original one. The Transport Ministry claims the most recent problems were caused not by the faultiness of the new system itself but by overloaded servers at the Police Presidium, which handle the Schengen Information System. The failing system has caused major problems for drivers since it was launched on July 9. Prime Minister Nečas has given Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš until Friday to resolve the problem or else resign.
A section of the green-labelled “A” line of the Prague Metro, running between Malostranská and Dejvice will be closed this weekend as engineers undertake repairs. The repairs to the line’s electrical system will cause yet more disruption: passengers at Můstek station will be forced to change trains for the remaining few stops to Malostranská. A special tram service is set to enable passengers to travel to Dejvická. According to a spokesperson for the Metro service, the repairs are essential in order to connect existing stations on the “A” line to the extension, currently underway, which will add four new stops beyond Dejvická by 2014 and an ultimate extension towards Prague’s by then re-named Václav Havel Airport some time around 2020.
The funeral of Antonín Holý, a Czech scientist who pioneered the development of retroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis B, took place in Prague on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by around three hundred people, and included dignitaries such as Prime Minister Petr Nečas and Jiří Drahoš, head of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Holý died on July 16th after battling with illness. He was 75 years old.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”