Strovolos Mayor Andreas Papacharalambous on Tuesday accused the public works department of dragging their feet when it comes to the construction of a new bridge to replace an older one that always floods when there is heavy rainfall.
The mayor said in a written statement titled ‘The truth about the Strovolos bridge’ that the municipal council unanimously agreed to construct a new bridge on Alexandroupoleos street near the town hall “to alleviate the serious problem presented.” Works were to start next year, Papacharalambous said.
The bridge in question usually floods when there is heavy rainfall causing the road to close. The same thing happened on Sunday during the torrential rain that hit the area in the early afternoon.
But the public works department refuses to implement this decision, Papacharalambous said, “under the excuse that the municipal council has not approved in its entirety the plans also concerning the road of primary importance from Strovolos Avenue to Archangelos Avenue.”
During a meeting last week at the transport ministry the municipality was told that works would begin in 2023, he said.
“So, with these timeframes is this a priority project?” the mayor asked, wondering when exactly it would start if it wasn’t classed as a priority.
He added that the municipal council decided it would be best to get the opinion of Strovolos residents on the overall plan before making a decision and asked the competent government departments to present the plan at a public gathering.
“The Department of Town Planning and Housing rejected the municipality’s request, with the excuse that it must first have the approval of the municipal council (on the project) before presenting it,” he said.
The mayor asked how can one talk of participatory democracy when the state ignores the opinion of residents and delays such an important project?