The construction of the new wing of Larnaca general hospital has been delayed again, MPs heard during a meeting of the House transport committee on Friday.
The project will be delayed for at least another year and Larnaca MPs called the state of affairs an ‘unacceptable situation’ and ‘blackmailing of the state by the contractor’ and said patients in the region are the victims.
The new postponement is due to differences between the contractor and the government. The contractor is demanding money from work it has carried out on the supreme court building and Nicosia general hospital.
Construction work on the hospital wing started in September 2013 with a 36-month implementation schedule. However, due to the financial disputes extensions were agreed upon, first until December 30, 2017, then until April 2018.
The House transport committee members said the project is being highjacked by the contractor and called on the president to intervene to resolve the issue.
Larnaca Disy MPs warned they will not tolerate the situation.
Head of the committee, Diko’s Georgios Prokopiou, said the situation is unacceptable.
“It exposes the President of the Republic himself because the project should have been delivered by the end of 2017. The project has been halted for four months and today we have unfortunately been told that it still needs a year,” he said.
He added that as head of the committee he has sent a letter to the president asking him to resolve the problem.
“It is inconceivable to play with lives. It is absolutely right for people to shout because no one can play with their lives.”
“As residents of Larnaca, we are completely disappointed by the bureaucracy of the state that owes the contractor money,” said Disy MP Zacharias Zachariou.
“The contractor has virtually been trapped into blackmailing to get the money to complete the project at Larnaca hospital,” he added,
He also said a new project for the construction of a family court was signed just days ago between the state and the same contractor.
“I do not see the logic of a contractor who blackmails a province and its patients being rewarded by the state with new work.”
Disy MP Annita Demetriou said that solving the situation is a matter of the highest priority for Larnaca and its residents and that the city should get what it is entitled to.
Larnaca Akel MPs Giorgos Georgiou and Evanthis Savva also called for immediate completion of the project.