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Cyprus Mail

Aglantzia residents block main road in protest over works

Aglantzia residents protest

Scores of residents blocked Aglantzjia Avenue in Nicosia district on Thursday afternoon to protest over the planned felling of 90 trees as part of plans to widen the road.

Aglantzjia municipality is also objecting to so many trees being cut down, and trying to get the public works department to go with an alternative plan.

Several trees – many of them around 100-years-old – have already been cut down for the redevelopment of the avenue that provides for a four-lane road, but protesters are objecting to plans to cut down another 90 trees from the Akadimia national park for the next phase of the construction works. The redevelopment of the avenue is expected to be completed in around one year.

Protesters holding placards, chanted slogans against the felling of more trees and for the protection of the park.

One of the organisers of the protest – the Initiative for Akadimia Park – said that a large part of the park has already been earmarked for the construction of a school. The group said that the plans concern the expansion of Akadimia Avenue within the park up to Larnaca Avenue, and the construction of a two-level roundabout at the junction of Kallipoleos and Aglandjia Avenues with the Nicosia-Limassol highway.

According to Aglandjia mayor, Charalambos Petrides, the municipality has asked for the plans to be changed to spare the felling of so many trees.

“We are trying (in cooperation with) the public works department for a revised plan that would affect Akadimia Park less,” Petrides told state broadcaster CyBC. The proposal, he said, will see only 20 trees chopped down instead.

Earlier in the day, the municipality said in an announcement that it has long opposed the south extension of Akadimia Avenue through the national park and that it has repeatedly requested alterations of the redevelopment plans.

As to the two-level roundabout, the municipality said that it has not been presented with any plan concerning the construction of such a project at the junction of Kallipoleos and Aglantzia Avenues with the Nicosia-Limassol highway, “therefore no consent has been given”.

“The municipality wants to preserve like the pupils of its eye the green lungs it has inherited,” it said.

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