The government of Albania has started to demolish the buildings damaged by the earthquake one year ago in Tirana’s Kombinat neighborhood.
On Tuesday, 9 residential buildings were planned to be demolished, according Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj.
Prime Minister Edi Rama, the mayor and two ministers inspected the area today, assuring residents that they will all get new apartments soon.
Residents in the area told Exit News that some of them resisted the operation, but police evicted them from their homes, thus opening the way to the heavy machinery do their work.
The government plans to tear down at least 50 communist-era buildings before it starts reconstruction.
They will be replaced by 4-5-storey buildings with a total construction area of nearly 1.5 million square meters, able to accommodate over 21 thousand residents, a shopping mall, two museums and the University of Architecture campus. The project is called KombinART.
The first to be housed in the new buildings will be the 2292 families that lived in Kombinat, whose homes were damaged by the November 26 earthquake. This group of families will occupy only one third of the total number of apartments. The rest will be sold to other citizens. Details for this part, including how the apartments will be sold and which institution or company will manage their sale, have not been made public yet.
In October, the Municipality of Tirana opened a tender worth €61.1 million for the design and reconstruction of these buildings. The call for bids remained open for 11 days only, and no information on its outcome has been made public.