Even three years after the collapse of the four-story building in northern Mitrovica, the tenants remain homeless
Mitrovica - Serbian local authorities, despite promises, have not resolved the housing problem until nowadays to tenants of four- story building, known as the "Sindikat” (Trade Union) building, which collapsed on fourth of March 2009 in the downtown of the northern part of Mitrovica,. Although they had proper documentation, by which they have indicated for the past twenty years that the building is in poor condition, according to statements of the tenants, the documents say the building collapsed due to deterioration, inadequate and illegal construction works.
35 families remained homeless, and now on the site of the former building is an abandoned area overgrown with weeds. Tomislav Vuckovic, the tenants’ representative of Sindikat building, told the M-Magazine that the non keeping of the promise of each local Serbian authorities only prolong the agony of the former tenants of this building. "We slowly grow old and lose hope despite all the promises. Especially the one from last year that on June 28, the President of the Republic of Srpska, Milorad Dodik, will come here for Vidovdan to lay the corner stone.
A hole was dug here in order to get their picture taken for the media. However, since last year, Serbian local authorities in Mitrovica do not want to listen or talk to any of us on this subject. We are, literally, four years out on the street, and became ill. We will once again go to all relevant representatives here in Mitrovica, and if they keep ignoring us then we will turn to Adriana Hodzić ", Vuckovic said.
He said the land on which the building used to be is found attractive by local government, on which site it wants to build the building worth three million euros. "And now it is the money that they do not have, therefore here we all suffer. I emphasize, they are not going to build a building for us, but to profit something for themselves, at least an apartment, "- he said. After the collapse of this building, most of the tenants have found a temporary shelter and illegally moved in, in one of the unfinished building in the Bosniak neighborhood.
Dragica Cerović, a neighbor of Vuckovic, claims that all tenants are afraid of being evicted forcibly from their current homes by representatives of the Mitrovica local authorities. "We may be evicted from this building just dead. For we do not have any place to go. If we had a place to go, we would go there that night when the building collapsed. We are struggling hard. What the Serbian authorities do to us I do not believe that any other authorities would to us.
We can not wait any longer. We want ours. Because we have lived, on this place where we stand now and where is all overgrown with weeds, for more than 60 years," Cerovic said. When the building of “Sindikat” collapsed in the morning of March 4, three people were injured, and two of them were remained for medical treatment in the Mitrovica hospital, but are not in danger. Meantime most of these people became ill and left without a fixed income.
The most difficult case among them is the Cerović family, whose four members are suffering from malignant diseases.
It was impossible to reach municipal representatives in the northern part of Mitrovica. The officials who wished to remain anonymous said that the municipality does not have the funds to finance the construction of new building, but the master plan exists. Tenants are left only the hope, because I guess it never dies.
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