Without any noticeable improvement of the water network in Tirana, and while construction work is left in the middle, Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj has chosen the silence of the summer heat to propose a water price increase of 44%, nearly doubling the water bill for Tirana families in 2018.
In its argumentation for the price increase, the municipality states that 67.6% of the water is currently not paid for, while the budget of the UKT, responsible for water and drainage infrastructure in Tirana, is weighed down under unpaid and overdue debts. Moreover, the municipality admits that up to 2016 the UKT had no business plan, no complete maps of its infrastructure, and is not even clear about the actual numbers that underlie its analysis.
As Exit pointed out before, less than 50% of the rural communities in Tirana have access to running water, while the TR030 Tirana Masterplan showed that even an architectural company hired for millions of euros failed to gather the necessary information on the efficiency of the water infrastructure.
Under these circumstances, in which a municipal agency under the responsibility of Mayor Erion Veliaj has been mismanaged for years, the municipality now claims that nearly a doubling of the water tariff for families will bring the coverage to 100% in Tirana and 72% in the rural communities, as well 24/7 water in the majority of the municipality, even though apparently two-thirds of UKT clients do not pay for their water.