The Degradation of Prevalla

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The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning decided to halt all construction activities in Prevalla for an unspecified time.

The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning decided to stop all construction activities in the area Prevalla, near of the Sharr National Park, for an indefinite period. Prevalla is a village near Prizren with a beautiful landscape. Six years ago, an area of 27 hectares of Prevalla has started to get transformed into a touristic area with a project ignited by the Municipality of Prizren.

Some 360 villas in this area were planned – 35 of them planned would be built by the municipality itself and 315 privately. Currently, there are 100 villas built in Prevalla, but 90 of them do not match with the urban plan of the municipality and violates the law that protects the environment.

Salajdin Fanaj, owner of  Fanaj Engineering, says the first six years of the contract made with the municipality of Prizren for the construction of infrastructure in the touristic village Prevalla, included ground installations, sanitation, water supply, electricity network regulation and sidewalks. He adds that his company did the basements but there were other private individuals who disregarded them and expanded their buildings.

As a result, Dardan Gashi – Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, took a decision last week that abrogated the previous decision of the former Minister Gjini – full competence given to the municipality of Prizren towards Prevalla. All the constructions were stopped as Dardan Gashi suggests due to: “the situation in the area Pravalla, exceeding the conditions and criteria for construction and disrespect MESP guidelines that were sent to the Municipality of Prizren regarding the urban plan for the area.”

Sadik Paçarizi – Director of Urban Planning, Municipality of Prizren, says that he knew about these degradations but had no power to stop these over-building. He said that on April 4, 2011 he sent a letter to the municipal inspectorate department to prevent illegal construction. One of the passages in this letter said: “We seek from you to take measures against the wild illegal construction in this area within the legislative competence of the construction according to the law of the relevant regulations.”

Iftiman Lytfiu, architect and the designer of the Prevalla plan, said that in the plan there were definite rules and guidelines towards the construction. The problem is that there are individuals who disrespected these guidelines and started constructing palaces. However, he adds that economically the value of this land has raised from thousands into millions.

Naim Cahani, Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) Prizren, says that the case of Prevalla was never discussed seriously in the municipal assembly of Prizren. However, he is delighted with the fact that these constructions were stopped.