By Bejay Browne
RESIDENTS of homes found next to a new green zone in Mouttalos in Paphos say they knew nothing about the site until a few days ago and are protesting the move which they say will negatively impact their lives.
Green zones are an alternative to illegal dumping and constitute designated areas where the public can take often bulky rubbish, such as refrigerators, furniture or broken toilets, which then get collected by local authorities. The government aims to set up 38 fenced-up green zones across Cyprus by 2015.
Andreas Kazadzis has joined forces with other neighbours to protest the creation of a ‘green zone’ in Mouttalos, which he says will have a massive impact on the area and the quality of life or residents. Residents say a green zone would be nothing more than a landfill.
Kazadzis said that ten days ago he and others realised that work to clear a large plot was underway and after enquiring from workers what they were doing, they found out that what was akin to “a large rubbish tip” was being put on their doorstep.
According to another resident, more than 1,000 people live in the area on the west side of Mouttalos. The new green zone is 50 metres away from a high school, 200 metres from the Tombs of the Kings road- a popular tourist destination and the Tomb of the Kings – a protected UNESCO site- is also close by. It is also surrounded by houses.
“My house is about 10 metres from the site and only separated by a road. There are a number of other houses and apartments even closer and others between 20 to 50 metres away. This is not the correct area for a ‘rubbish tip’ – it’s an abomination,” said Kazadzis.
He said that work on leveling the ground was well underway and excess soil was being taken away.
The group opposing the works has written numerous letters of complaint to the authorities but work at the site has continued.
A Paphos municipality official, who wished to remain anonymous, said there would be five green zones in Paphos as part of the ministry’s plans, over which local authorities had no say.
“I think it unlikely that the ministry is willing to change the location at this juncture,” the official said but added that nonetheless they were meeting with the interior ministry to discuss the matter.
“But I also think that these people are overreacting.”
Residents have suggested an alternative zone north of Mouttalos.