Cyprus Mail

Study looks at extending Pedieos path into occupied area

The path is for pedestrians and cyclists

A study looking at extending the Pedieos pedestrian path in Nicosia into the occupied area is set to begin at the end of November under the watch of the technical environment committee.
As part of the Nicosia master plan technocrats from the committee, EU representatives and potential funders in cooperation with the UN will be visiting the area to begin the technical and financial study on developing the area.
Chairman of the technical committee Michalis Loizides told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the project may even be implemented in 2018.
The Nicosia master plan includes improving infrastructure and buildings and creating new leisure and entertainment spots. The first phase provides for extending the current pedestrian and cycling route in Pedieos so it can reach the occupied area, Loizides said.
The path will have a small detour in the initial stages through the Ledra Palace checkpoint until a new one is created near the river bed, he added.
“All of this will be included in the techno-economic study, which will note down all the points for which a political or technical decision needs to be taken so the project can go ahead.”
The final study will need approval from both President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who are aware of the plans and are waiting for further information to see if the project can be implemented or there are any difficulties which need to be examined, Loizides added.
According to reports from the north, Akinci had a meeting with members of the technical environment committee over the plans for earlier this week.
The cost of the project will be covered by Turkish Cypriot funding and ‘EU partnerships that can give the budget for a complete project which serves such an important purpose’, Loizides told CNA.
During the visit at the end of the month, technocrats will begin from the end of the current path at the Pedieos river bed, going through the buffer zone, a military area in the occupied territories, the Ledra Palace checkpoint to reach the final point of the project.
“We will see the whole area that is untouched all these years,” he added.
Asked if the committee had met after the talks collapsed in Crans Montana, Loizides said the committee had a meeting a month and a half ago in Karpasia and that another one was slated for next month in Akamas regarding ecosystem protection, as the two areas are subject to a lot of pressure from tourism-related developments.
“There are already species of the ecosystem that are extinct due to tourism development and we must immediately take measures to protect them.”
Other topics of discussion concern the Mia Milia water plant, Loizides said.

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