Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

‘Cut the cars, not the forests’

Birdwatching in Athalassa park

A total of 16 NGOs will hold a demo outside Aglandjia municipality on Friday to protest plans by the municipality to build a road through Athalassa forest.

The protest has the slogan ‘Hands off the parks – cut the cars, not the forests’.

In a joint statement, the NGOs said the road will fragment “the main lung of Nicosia”.

During the event, the organisations will hand a resolution to Aglandjia mayor Charalambos Petridis, “in which our opposition to any violation and shrinking of the forest will be declared, which in the long run will not solve traffic problems, but will essentially try to meet the traffic needs brought about by the licensing and expansion of the large shopping centres based in the area.”

The road will pass through the agricultural research institute, the Cyprus Institute and the French Cypriot school, they said, adding it is estimated that 10,000 cars will pass from this road every day.

“The passage of such a large number of vehicles will cause further air pollution in an already congested area due to the licensing of a large number of department stores, while as stated in the preliminary environmental study, biodiversity and the ecological value of the area will decline.”

The municipality has given the public a chance to voice their opinion on the project, the mayor of Aglandjia said on Monday.

“As with any project there are pros and cons but for us it is very important for it to be done with transparency,” Petrides said.

The proposed road will be 12m wide and the construction will affect 31 trees.

A preliminary poll to gauge the public’s reaction to the project, after 1,500 votes, shows 53 per cent are against the road.

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