The municipality of Gračanica refuses to issue permits for the construction of houses approved by the ministry

Valentina Parlić from the village of Dobrotin, Dejan Aksić from Lipljan and single mother Snežana Grbić from Donja Gušterica were recently approved by the Ministry of Communities and Return in the Government of Kosovo to build houses. However, they cannot get construction permits from the Municipality of Gračanica. The Minister for Communities and Return, Nenad Rašić, believes that it is a violation of the law by the Municipality of Gračanica.

The married couple Valentina Parlić and Srđan Gudžić live with their three children as tenants in the village of Dobrotin. In recent years, they have applied to numerous invitations to build houses. The last time was about three months ago in the Kosovo Ministry for Communities and Return. They recently received an answer that this Ministry will build them a house of 75 square meters, but the Municipality of Gračanica refused their request „for the issuance of preconditions for the construction of a residential building“ with the explanation that their plot where they plan to build a house does not have access to a public road.

However, in a location where the municipality claims that there is no public road, a house was built in December of last year, with the permission of the Municipality of Gračanica.

„The problem is a public road, I need to provide a public road, so it’s not clear to me and I asked them how there is a public road for this house that was built by the Ministry, and they couldn’t answer me,“ Srdjan Gudžić, husband of Valentina Parlić, told Glas Amerika.

The Voice of America requested answers from the authorities in the municipality of Gračanica regarding this and other similar cases.

The Director of the Department for Urban Planning and Environmental Protection, Aleksandra Đekić, confirmed that the Municipality of Gračanica issued a permit for construction on this location last year, but based on a request submitted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in accordance with the memorandum signed between the Municipality of Gračanica, Ministry of Communities and Return and IOM.

However, Đekić’s answer does not state that Valentina Parlić was refused a building permit because there is no public road there, as it says in the decision she signed a few days ago, but points out other reasons:

„Citizen Valentina Parlić submitted a request for the issuance of preconditions for the construction of a residential building in the regular procedure and without any evidence that the construction of the building (family home) is financed by the Ministry or some other organization. In accordance with that request, a regular procedure is being carried out, just like for other citizens,“ stated Aleksandra Đekić in a written statement to Voice of America.

Đekić states that when it comes to building houses „through the Ministry’s program, requests and necessary documentation were always submitted by the IOM organization in accordance with the memorandum in force, which does not exist in this particular case.“ She also adds that she regrets that in the case of Valentina Parlić the procedure went in a different direction because of that.

Minister for Communities and Return Nenad Rašić told Voice of America that the Municipality of Gračanica in this case itself admits that it is violating the law, because according to him, the law is equal for everyone and there cannot be double standards.

Rašić asks how the lack of access to the public road can be an obstacle for construction for Valentina Parlić, and not an obstacle for the house that was built in December last year with the permission of the Municipality of Gračanica?

Rašić also states that this ministry never had a memorandum with the Municipality of Gračanica, nor is it necessary in this case.

„What would be the essence if, for example, a central government like us should have a memorandum of cooperation with a specific municipality. So, we have to do it with everyone? So the memoranda never existed. They said the memorandum, because they heard something that they have a memorandum with the IOM because the IOM asked for it then so that they could somehow facilitate the procedures. By the way, there have never been such memorandum between the Ministry and a certain municipality“.

After the municipality forbade them to build a house, Valentina and Srđan decided to sell the plot. „I put up the board (the lot for sale) the day I was rejected.“

Dejan Aksić from Lipljan was planning to live in the same street with his wife and two children. In 2019, he received part of the construction material for the house from the municipality of Lipljan, which works in the system of the Republic of Serbia, when he started construction without any problems – he built the foundation and several pillars. However, now that he has received a positive response from the Ministry of Communities and Returns to complete the house, he needs a permit from the Municipality of Gracanica, which he was also denied a few days ago.

„2019 I started the foundation and pillars, now we have passed the competition of the Ministry of Return for the construction of houses, but I do not have a construction permit. The municipality refused me with the explanation that it is located in an agricultural zone and that any type of construction is prohibited,“ says Aksić.

When asked by Voice of America to municipal officials, how is it possible that Aksić started building a house in 2019 without any problems, and that now he is prohibited from doing so, Aleksandra Đekić, director of the Department of Urbanism and Environmental Protection stated:

„Dejan Aksić does not have a building permit.“ If he started construction in 2019, it means that he acted contrary to the law on construction. The plot owned by Dejan Aksić is located outside the zone where construction is allowed, according to the current development plan, and therefore no construction is allowed on it. We will act in accordance with the law on further proceedings in this case.“

Aksić states that it is not clear to him how he was able to build four years ago, and today he cannot.

„No one came, when we started, we built the foundation. This house (across the street from his lot) was built in December, the same was built by the return ministry. I don’t know, it’s 10 meters away, I don’t know who determined those lines, I don’t understand anything,“ says Dejan Aksić.

Nothing is clear to single mother Snezana Grbić either. She was also recently approved by the Ministry of Communities and Return to build a house, but she also needs a permit from the Municipality of Gračanica.

„I submitted a request for a house (to the Ministry of Communities and Return) and the project was approved, but I did not receive a building permit from the Municipality of Gračanica. The reason they state is that until last year, they had a contract with the Ministry, but this year they don’t. I don’t know the reason, they didn’t tell me the real reason,“ said Snežana Grbić for the Voice of America.

Just as in Dobrotin and in Snežana’s neighborhood, last year, the Ministry of Communities and Return built houses without any problems:

„How could someone get a permit last year, but this year they don’t have a permit.“ We don’t have an answer to that, and they don’t give an exact answer to all that either.“

Snezana is disabled, she has a handicap of her hand and the right side of her body. She and her son live on social assistance as tenants.

„I had three operations with a gamma knife, I can’t work, I’m not fit for work and they know all that. I submitted all those papers to the municipality of Gračanica.“ I also applied for one-time assistance, which of course they still haven’t approved. I don’t know what’s going on with that, but I received an answer from the urban planning department within three days, I can’t get a permit.“

Voice of America received an answer from Aleksandra Đekić in connection with the case of Snežana Grbić.

„Snežana Grbić did not submit a request for a building permit, but for information about the plot, which is a significant difference both legally and technically.“ Based on the current development plan, the plot is located in a zone where construction is not allowed,“ Aleksandra Đekić, director of the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection, told the Voice of America.

Đekić did not specifically state why and since when construction is not allowed in the zone where Snežana Grbić’s plot is located.

Although the Voice of America did not mention politics in the questions addressed to officials of the municipality of Gračanica, Đekić responded to specific questions by stating „that this is not a political topic, nor should it be developed further in that direction and possibly misused politically“.

On the other hand, Minister Nenad Rašić also says that he „would like to believe that this has nothing to do with politics“ and that all this is not directed against him, but that he will still ask the competent institutions to determine whether the municipality of Gračanica in this way “ may be making abuses for the purpose of political revanchism“

At the beginning of February, the Ministry of Communities and Return announced several calls for assistance to citizens, including a call for the construction and renovation of residential facilities. According to Minister Rašić, the construction of around 40 houses throughout Kosovo for displaced persons and socially vulnerable families is planned. A few days ago, as part of that invitation, the first foundation stone was laid for the construction of a house for the Senado Hotović family in the village of Dobruša, near Istok.

Izvor :
Voice od America