Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (189)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

189. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding river cleaning works in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11758/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works has responsibility for approximately 11,500 km of arterial drainage channels, about 2,200 km being subject to routine maintenance each year as part of an ongoing programme of arterial drainage maintenance. This leads to an average cycle of maintenance taking place just over once every 5 years. This work is carried out to ensure that the State's investment in the Arterial Drainage schemes continues to provide the intended benefits.

There are 230 kms of river channels, 96 kms of flood defences, 180 sluice structures and 222 bridge structures on the River Maine. Significant damage to OPW assets on the River Maine catchment occurred during the recent storms. The OPW is currently in the process of rectifying these issues, but it is difficult to provide a time-line on when exactly specific areas of damage will be addressed due to many of the sites being inaccessible at this time and the solutions complicated. The works at these sites require planning and preparation and must take into account environmental considerations and other factors. However, I am advised that any major blockages within the system have been addressed to date and the OPW is continuing to deal with the issues as quickly as possible with the resources available.