The commission for the environment and beaches in Paphos was not informed about the municipality’s decision to cut down trees, its head Giorgos Demetriades said on Monday.
Demetriades released a written statement on the felling of trees on Europe Avenue, which has caused an uproar among environmental groups over the past weeks.
He added the commission is not examining whether the trees were cut down justly, but rather criticising the fact they were not informed on the matter, as is the common practice.
Demetriades said they will discuss the issue at the next municipal council meeting.
Last week, a war of words between Paphos municipality and environmentalists over the recent felling of a number of trees continued to rumble on, as a demonstration was planned outside the town hall.
Initially, the Paphos Greens hit out at the mayor and municipality for cutting dozens of trees and carrying out what they described as “indiscriminate deep pruning” on others, along Europe Avenue.
However, mayor Phedonas Phedonos and the municipality rejected the accusations that the moves were unnecessary. Instead they said that the “sick trees” needed cutting and everything was done legally and with the forestry department’s permission.
They also clarified that Phedonos did not sign or give any instructions for cutting down the trees and the matter was handled by the competent office.
However, the claim that so many of the trees needed to be cut was rejected by environmentalists who said that around 120 trees had been destroyed unnecessarily.
But, the municipality called this “false and fake news”, announcing that, “a small group of our fellow citizens, with ‘orchestrated effort’, is trying to misinform the public about the sick poplars that were cut on Europe Avenue.”
The municipality said that to “restore the truth” less than 50 diseased trees were cut down and not 120 as, “some misinformation is deliberately being spread”.