THE deadline for tenders competing for the project to upgrade Paphos municipal market is on Friday midday, according to a spokesman for Paphos municipality.
He told the Cyprus Mail: “Opening of the bids for the project, “Restoration and beautification of the Municipal Market” will take place tomorrow. All of the bids will be carefully considered and examined and the proper procedures followed prior to the announcement of the award in the coming days.”
Local businesses, residents and visitors, have been calling for an upgraded market which has seen a huge decline in the last few years. Traditional crafts, artisans, small businesses, as well as cafes and restaurants are all being encouraged to open up in the area, with supporters determined to reinvigorate the area, said the spokesman.
However, although the move is generally supported by business, Kyriacos Kyriacou, who heads up association, “Friends of Paphos Old Town,” said that not enough information concerning the project, and a lack of a masterplan has led to investors showing reticence and deferring moves to open new businesses there just yet.
“Yes, this will be an upgrade for the area but the investment we were expecting to see by now, isn’t forthcoming. There is no masterplan and for people that want to invest, this is imperative. What will be the situation after the works? Where will the food court be, for example? Will businesses be able to have tables and chairs outside? Nobody is discussing this, there’s renovation and no discussion, people are waiting to see before they invest and this is making us lose time.”
“We will have a grand opening with empty stalls,” he added.
Kyriacou said that the mayor and the councillors need to sit down and listen to the opinion of the public and do their research, there needs to be a plan, he stressed.
This isn’t the only problem adversely affecting the area, he noted, pointing out that that most of the town centre is dug up, and a lack of workers is apparent.
“There is something very wrong. The entire city centre is dug up but you cannot see people working, there are only a few. Either they cannot synchronise between themselves or there aren’t enough personnel, it’s very worrying.”
Kyriacou isn’t the only one concerned about the progress of the works. Paphos councillor Andreas Chrysanthou, said that more than 15 months ago, he submitted written suggestions that works in the centre of Paphos should be completed in four stages and not as they are now.
“I said you never know what you might find under Paphos. And I was right, everything I said has come true.” Chrysanthou was referring to the recent discovery of six tombs uncovered during the recent upgrading works of the area.
The councillor is also the head of XYTA, the operators of the Paphos landfill site, and has been embroiled in a recent spat with the mayor over problems relating to the operation of the landfill, for which a number of people are facing bribery and corruption charges.
“Time will show who will be responsible for the delay and I believe there will be delays in my opinion. The project won’t be completed on the set days and then the costs go up, I’m noting this as a councillor and also as an engineer.”
Chrysanthou also said that he was in the dark as to the progress of the works, whether deadlines were being met and technical problems being experienced.
He said: “The antiquities department will have to decide what will happen to the area, the whole of Paphos is an archaeological site. Tombs were found close to the police station about a month ago and the latest next to the kafenio, opposite the town hall. What will be done about it, I have no idea.”
The spokesman for the municipality said: “There are no major concerns for the municipality regarding the antiquities department, this kind of thing can be found everywhere in Paphos. Maybe, the most important ones will be kept visible and covered with a special glass, so that visitors may also see it, like a tourist attraction.”
“It won’t hold up the plan, it’s nothing special,” he said.