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The mayor of Banjaluka, Draško Stanivuković, has been in the media for the past two years, more precisely since he took over the local executive power, often associated with the affairs of controversial businessmen and favours at the same time in the realisation of multimillion-dollar deals.

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This time the mayor’s “target” was the company “Bingo” from Tuzla. Namely, the documentation that is in the possession of our portal clearly shows that the company Bingo violated a number of laws and city regulations, and the construction permit signed by Stanivuković is not in accordance with the regulatory plan, that is, the area of the built shopping centre.

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Let’s clarify. In the area of the Banja Luka settlement “Lazarevo” there is a currently valid regulatory plan with a planned facility of about 2,600 square meters. Before the construction of the new Bing building, the old one was completely demolished and the new building could only be built in accordance with the valid regulatory plan, which is a maximum of 2,600 square meters. The newly built building is four times larger than the one provided for in the regulatory plan and amounts to 10,219.36 square meters. The regulatory plan is the basis for construction and it is legally impossible to get a building permit without it, especially not to build a building, but as things stand, this only applies to ordinary people.

The fact that certain media outlets close to Draško Stanivuković, such as “Srpska info” announced the opening (intentionally or not) reduced the square footage of the building, which you can see for yourself, is particularly interesting. We remind you that Tanja Vukomanović, former advisor to the mayor and a newly elected member of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, sat down in the chair of the mayor’s advisor from Blic/Srpska info.

Member of the Party of Democratic Progress in the Assembly of Banjaluka, Milko Grmuša, told Infoveza that the only correct way in this regard is for the judicial authorities, in accordance with the law, to do their job impartially, objectively, and professionally and determine whether there was a violation of the law here.

“My political position, expressed and proposed several times already in the Assembly of the City of Banja Luka, is that it is necessary to form a special commission that would investigate how regulatory plans were adopted in Banja Luka in the previous ten years and that would analyze all disputed construction permits issued on the basis those plans. Unfortunately, there is currently no political readiness, perhaps even courage, for this proposal to be adopted”, claims Grmuša.

He points out that, in any case, he will continue to insist on this because it is evident, as he explains, that in this case, as well as in a whole series of other cases in Banja Luka, there have been numerous controversies regarding construction for years, and as long as these controversies are not resolved, he believes that there are no conditions for the adoption of new significant regulatory plans.

“It is about the fact that the basic idea in spatial planning and construction is the harmonization of public and private interests, the harmonization of strategic development plans of the city, local residents and private investors, and we have practically had a kind of dominance of private interest over public interest for years, and this is completely unacceptable for me”, concludes Grmuša.

On the other hand, the city says that everything was done in accordance with the regulations, which, they say, was confirmed by the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction, and Ecology when it did not accept the initiative to cancel the building permit.

“The building permit for the “Bingo” building was issued in accordance with the valid regulatory plan, and all parameters defined by the plan, that is, the maximum coefficient of construction and the maximum occupancy coefficient of the plot, were respected during the issuance”, the mayor’s office states.

Whether this is the result of the “symbiosis” of the city and republic authorities remains to be seen.

However, the problems caused by “Bingo” did not stop with the construction permit. Namely, during the construction of the building, the entire area of public areas (sidewalk and bicycle path, as well as green areas) were illegally usurped, and various materials, public toilets and workers’ containers were dumped in those places. Because of this, the passage of pedestrians and cyclists was blocked. In addition, the tree seedlings in the public area are painted white, probably for the reason that they would fit into the overall “Bing’s ambience”, which the Decision on communal order clearly prohibits.

The city administration categorically refuses to admit that “Bingo” violated communal regulations.

“The municipal police of the city administration of the City of Banjaluka regularly carried out communal inspections in Branka Popovića Street, where the Bingo building is located, and it was determined that public toilets and workers’ containers, as well as other construction objects, were placed on plot number k . 499/1 KO Budžak, which is owned by the company “Bingo” d.o.o. Considering that in this particular case, it is not a public area, the communal police had no authority to act on the mentioned issues”, the city administration answered.

However, the fact that the city administration is deliberately deceiving the public is proven by the photos in our possession, which we took during the moments when “Bing’s” new building was being built. The photos clearly show toilets that are placed on the sidewalks and obstruct the passage of pedestrians, as well as construction material that literally blocked the passage of pedestrians, so they had to get off the road at those moments, risking their own safety, as well as the safety of other road users.

When asked why “Bingo” was not sanctioned due to these omissions, the mayor’s cabinet did not have an answer, but the public has long speculated that the owner of “Bingo”, Senad Džambic from Tuzla, finances the election campaign of Draško Stanivuković, which could explain the epilogue of the new events.

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