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‘Half Larnaca Sewerage Board contracts under police scrutiny’ (updated)

Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras

Half of the construction contracts of the Larnaca Sewerage Board (SAL) are being investigated by the police and the Auditor-general’s office, the town’s mayor Andreas Vyras said on Saturday.

Speaking to members of the press, the Larnaca mayor said that chaos prevailed in the SAL when he took over as employees did not even know what their duties were while half of the construction contracts are under scrutiny by the police and the auditor-general’s office.

“There is no SAL contract that does not present problems,” Vyras said. He added that they are even contemplating interrupting contracts in some areas.

He added that over the last few months there have been changes in SAL to improve some procedures.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told the Cyprus News Agency that they are investigating eight contracts of the SAL. Angelides said that the reports concerning two of these contracts have already been sent to the legal services and they are waiting instructions as to how to proceed, while investigations continue for the other six.

Among the contracts under police investigation, Vyras said, is one concerning the Chrysopolitissa area where works should have been completed by now, but that due to the discovery of antiquities during works not even one third of the project has been finished. Vyras said at the moment there are serious differences between the antiquities department and the contractor over how to proceed and that the interior ministry is expected to act as a mediator.

Since the second phase of the Chrysopolitissa project is between four to five years delayed, now the auditor-general’s office is also looking into the matter, the mayor said.

The discovery of antiquities in other areas of Larnaca, he said, caused great delays in the completion of the sewerage system.

In addition to this, SAL has also had to replace pipes in 20 sewer wells as plastic ones were used instead of concrete which caused problems.

As regards the bad state of the road network, Vyras said that over the past five years no improvement had been made to the surface of any road in town and that they are now trying to secure a €1m budget toward that end. He added that it will take much more however, about €12m to €13m to repair all Larnaca roads after the sewerage system has been completed.

Vyras said the bad sate of the town’s road network will be one of the main issues that will be brought to the attention of President Nicos Anastasiades who is to visit Larnaca later in the month. The other issues that they want to discuss with the president, he said, are financial support to highlight the ancient port and upgrade the urban centre of Larnaca.

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