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Reconstructed 31 % of premises damaged during March riots

Prishtina, 18 June 2004 - Last week, the working group of the Central Inter-Ministerial Committee prepared the first report that contains all the information about the pace of work in the reconstruction of houses of Serbs and other communities that were damaged during the March 17-18 riots, Kosova Sot reports. The report says that the reconstruction process is beginning to accelerate its work, therefore, it is rightfully expected that this process will finish according to the pace foreseen by the Kosovo Government. Behxhet Brajshori, head of the Central Inter-Ministerial Committee, said that the only element that could impede the reconstruction of Serb houses is the lack of cooperation from the Serb community with the Inter-Ministerial Committee and municipal officials in getting the signatures of property owners. ‘We are having problems with getting the signatures of the Serb owners. This was the initial problem and continues to be a problem but not with all communities. Lately many Serb owners have realized the importance of the reconstruction program,’ said Brajshori. He emphasized that politicization of the reconstruction program would seriously damage the work on the ground. Brajshori promised that the reconstruction of houses could be finalized by mid-October, because no program in the post-war period was developed with a faster pace than the reconstruction of houses that were damaged during the March riots. Talking about the commitment of various companies to the reconstruction process, Brajshori said that there would be differences among representatives of construction companies.

Brajshori said that a Serb company has already started reconstruction in Mitrovica municipality, and added that a Serb company could also be activated in Pristina. ‘If they meet the minimum criteria, there is no reason why Serb companies should not be involved in the program because every citizen of Kosovo is entitled to participate in public bidding.’ The largest number of houses damaged during March 17-18 protests are in the municipalities of Obilic and Mitrovica. The municipal bodies and NGOs are working on the reconstruction process in Obilic.

In Mitrovica municipality, the first tenders were won by three companies, two Albanian and one Serb. According to statistics, from an overall number of 135 damaged houses in Mitrovica municipality, work is underway in the reconstruction of 30 houses. The municipality is making preparations to start the reconstruction of the other 105 houses, and it should be ready by the end of this week. The evaluation of damage in this municipality has already been done and the winners of the bidding process for reconstruction have been announced. A contract has been signed with the Fitimi Company from Mitrovica to the value of €99,639 for the reconstruction of 15 houses. This process includes houses from the 2nd and the 3rd categories, while the documents for houses from the 4th and the 5th categories must get ready by the end of this week.

In Vushtrri municipality overall 83 houses were damaged and the evaluation tender was made for eight houses in the 3rd category. A contract to the tune of €18,690 was signed with Vushtrri-based MAK BUILDING Company. Work on the rehabilitation of these houses started on May 24. The tender documents for four other houses have been prepared and the offers will be announced on June 16. In this municipality, NGOs will reconstruct 42 houses in the 4th category and 29 from the 5th category.

The reconstruction of damaged houses has also started in the Gjilan municipality. Initially, 39 houses from the 2nd category were treated. The offers for houses from the 3rd category are expected to be announced this week. The documents for houses from the 4th and the 5th categories have been finalized and the offers will be announced soon. In Gjilan 62 houses must be reconstructed.

In Ferizaj municipality, contracts were signed with two construction companies for ten houses from the 5th category.

Kamenica municipality has 29 damaged houses from the 2nd category. The municipality has completed all the necessary procedures, the rebuilding process has also been finalized but no final report was given for the allocation of funds in the budget of the municipality. Minor damage to houses has also been recorded in Novo Brdo municipality. Only two houses from the 2nd category have been damaged but due to disagreements with their owners there have been delays in the tendering process.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee hopes that the process will end soon. In Viti municipality, positive steps have been in made in the reconstruction of damaged houses. There are 42 damaged houses and with the help of the municipality 32 houses from the 2nd category have been reconstructed. The process of completing the tender documents for the other houses is almost over and tenders are expected to be announced soon. In Peja municipality, the tendering procedures have been finalized for the reconstruction of 24 houses from the 4th category. In Gjakova municipality, after some intervention by the Inter-Ministerial Committee, the municipality must meet all bidding process obligations by the end of this week for three damaged houses.

In Klina municipality, only four houses were damaged. Three of them are in the 2nd category and one house is in the 4th category. The value of the reconstruction is €11,763 but the report of the municipality hasn’t yet been sent to the Inter-Ministerial Committee. The winning bidder is a local company whose name wasn’t made public.

In Pristina municipality, the tender has been announced for 11 damaged houses, but the offers haven’t been opened yet. The paper claims that there is a faster pace of reconstruction in the municipality of Fushë Kosovë. From an overall number of 130 damaged houses, reconstruction work on 24 apartments from the 2nd category has been finished. Another ten houses have been included in the tendering process and the winning bidder has been announced.

Lipjan-based Stublla Company will carry out the reconstruction. The necessary documents for tendering were completed for 16 houses from the 2nd and the 3rd categories. In this municipality, NGOs will carry out the reconstruction of 62 houses from the 4th category and 15 houses from the 5th category. In Lipjan municipality, tenders were re-announced for 34 houses and this is the reason why offers haven’t been opened yet. In this municipality too, NGOs will be involved in the reconstruction of certain houses. NGOs will reconstruct 24 houses.

An impressing efficiency was noticed in the Obilic municipality. With the commitment of the municipality, 48 collective apartments from the 2nd category have been refurbished and NGOs have finished work in reconstructing 22 apartments from the 2nd category. The evaluation of damage has been completed and signatures were taken from all owners and it is expected that in the next couple of days three tenders will be announced for 34 apartments from the 3rd category and 11 houses from the 2nd and the 3rd categories. NGOs will reconstruct 37 houses from the 4th category and 49 houses from the 5th category. Despite the fact that all tender documents have been prepared for 11 damaged houses in Shtimje municipality, municipal officials are having problems with getting the signatures of the owners. UNMIK officials have promised their assistance on this matter, therefore, it is expected that the process will be finalized soon.

Podujeva municipality was less affected by the riots. A house of an Albanian was burned in the village of Brainë, but the municipality intervened with its own budget and refurbished the house. The financial report of used funds still hasn’t been handed over to the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

In Prizren municipality, the tender for four damaged houses will be open until June 17. A special tender has been prepared for 50 damaged houses from the 4th and the 5th categories.

Rahovec municipality is also committed to the reconstruction of seven damaged houses, and the financial report still hasn’t been handed to the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

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