New mayor promises to clean up littered capital

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 6, 2015 23:45

Story Highlights

  • Mayor Veliaj also said he would end vandalism on public property, vowing to press charges on anyone who damages monuments.

Related Articles

In a meeting with hundreds of employees of several companies the municipal government hires to clean up various parts of the capital region and to collect trash, Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj said the evaluation of how they were doing their job would be left to the residents themselves. (Photo: MoT)

In a meeting with hundreds of employees of several companies the municipal government hires to clean up various parts of the capital region and to collect trash, Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj said the evaluation of how they were doing their job would be left to the residents themselves. (Photo: MoT)

TIRANA, Aug. 6 – Tirana’s new mayor, Erion Veliaj, is a man with a mission: To make Tirana the cleanest capital in the Balkans.

He has started his new job with the promise to clean up the city’s public areas, which are often full of litter and otherwise unclean.

In a meeting with hundreds of employees of several companies the municipal government hires to clean up various parts of the capital region and to collect trash, he said the evaluation of how they were doing their job would be left to the residents themselves.

Veliaj gave the companies until the end of year to show they can do better in cleaning the city and the surrounding areas, implying he would cancel the contracts with nonperforming companies.

- Major clean-up next month -

The municipality also said would start a major clean up operation of Tirana on Sept. 4, asking for support of the armed forces in certain areas, as the central government has done to clean up some major highways.

“In early September, I invite all citizens to join the operation on cleaning up the city of Tirana. This action will be supported by the Municipal Police and the Local Urban Construction Inspectorate and all other structures of the municipality so that the work of cleaning operators can become easier,” Mayor Veliaj said.

The mayor has placed into office 24 new administrators for municipal units and has asked them to draw up reports on the state of all sidewalks, streets and other public spaces that fall under their jurisdictions.

Veliaj also told the administrators to analyze every service their municipal units provide to residents, so they can better address problems citizens of Tirana encounter.

“Assess how we are providing services,” Veliaj said. “If the public service office is in the fourth floor, move it to the first, because someone with a disability cannot get up the stairs to the fourth floor.”

- War on vandalism -

Mayor Veliaj also said he would end vandalism on public property, vowing to press charges on anyone who damages monuments.

He made the comments in front of a monument in downtown Tirana that commemorates 100 years of independence, which Albania marked in 2012. The monument had been repeatedly vandalized, its bronze plating stolen in places and people would often take advantage of its room-like shape to urinate on it out of immediate public view.

Any such acts would be prosecuted as a crime in the future, Veliaj said, and the municipality would press criminal charges.

“If these people cannot live like civilized people in this city of ours, then they will have to pay the price,” Veliaj said.

The municipal government is now repairing the monument and other monuments around the city, which Veliaj said would be ready for commemorations at the end of November, when Albania celebrates its national day.

“We have to get rid of the practice of leaving things for the last minute,” Veliaj said.

The Democratic Party, through the former deputy mayor of Tirana, Enno Bozdo, said it was not the municipality’s legal responsibility to take care of the monuments, but rather of the Ministry of Culture. He added Veliaj was performing a political show to hide the failures of the central government.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 6, 2015 23:45