By Bejay Browne
PLANS to upgrade the coastline and municipality beaches in Yeroskipou in Paphos are underway, according to the mayor.
Michalis Pavlides told the Cyprus Mail that the construction of a further six wave breakers in the sea off the Yeroskipou coast will commence at the end of the year.
“These six will run from where work in the sea stopped three and a half years ago and continue to the east of Yeroskipou. We already have six wave breakers in place and the new ones will cost three million euros.”
The funding for the project has been granted by the government and aims to make the area safe for sea goers, said Pavlides. Their purpose is to prevent erosion and help to create safer areas for those using the sea. The twelve wave breakers will cover the area from the Phaethon coast to the Esouza River.
“The area is already better than before and it will improve still further after the construction and completion of the wave breakers. There are strong currents here and after the work, the beach will be safe and will help to keep it sandy.”
The mayor noted that the council is also waiting for the relevant permissions to be issued by the government to allow them to construct two further snack bars in time for next year’s tourist season. These will be placed along the stretch of coastline which runs from ‘Riccos’ beach. They will be complete with toilets, changing rooms and other facilities, said the mayor.
Riccos Beach is a popular Paphos landmark with both locals and visitors. Riccos, whose real name is Andreas Xenofontos, has had some form of cafe on the beach since 1975.
The structure has been pulled down twice in the last decade, and each time, the war veteran has put it up again. A few years ago, bulldozers showed up with a court order to tear down his cafe. They were only turned back by a spontaneous human chain of supporters.
Pavlides said: “Riccos beach will also be demolished and rebuilt and he (Riccos) will probably still be running it as the previous government granted him a priority licence.”
The mayor said that these plans to upgrade the area come with a one million euros price tag, and added that the municipality is hoping to be granted all of the relevant permissions for the projects so that work may begin at the end of the year.
The redevelopment of the municipality seafront area will also include a new designated parking area, currently a field, which is found close to open air ‘Summer’ Club. There will also be a ‘kids club’, which will have numerous activities and a play area, along with staff to look after the children.
“I have seen these sorts of things in other countries, such as France for example, and they work very well. Cyprus is one of the few places which doesn’t have them,” he said.
Pavlides also noted that disabled people are a priority for the municipality.
“We already have a special chair to help disabled people get in and out of the water and we want to help them further by trying to make more things in the area which will make being at the beach and in the sea, easier for them.”
The upgrade will also include landscaping and lighting. The mayor noted that a new road which will connect the tourist area with the centre of Yeroskipou will start in February 2016.
“We are now making a new study regarding the construction of wave breakers from the hotels on the seafront along to ‘Bania’ in Kato Paphos,” he said.