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Cyprus

Asphalt plants’ move does not solve problem say villagers

File photo: Dali residents protesting outside parliament (Christos Theodorides)

The Dali asphalt plants’ relocation to Vasiliko simply shifts the air pollution problem from one community to another, the nine communities surrounding the area said on Friday.

Following long-standing complaints from the residents of Dali concerning air pollution from the two asphalt plants, the government decided to move them to Vasiliko industrial zone.

But on Friday, the nine communities of Pentakomo, Asgata, Mari, Zygi, Kalavasos, Tochni, Chirokitia, Psevmatismenos and Maroni said they are ready to protest the decision.

“We want to express our strong dissatisfaction and declare that we are ready to resist and fight by any legal means the annulment of this decision,” they said in a written statement.

“Transferring the problem from one community to another is not a solution,” they added, suggesting that a more permanent solution must be found for the relocation of the plants to a remote area that does not affect any community.

According to the communities, the relocation will take place without the completion of environmental impact assessment and without taking into account the opinion of the nearby residents as was recommended during a House environment committee session in October last year.

The government and the environmental services must consider the already polluted atmosphere of the region, they said, adding that “pollution has exceeded the permissible limits” and endangers the health and safety of the residents.

Earlier this week, mothers from Dali called on President Nicos Anastasiades to suspend the operation of the two asphalt plants in a small protest held outside the Latsia health centre where the president received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Demonstrators also cited the government’s intention to relocate the plants by the end of February, complaining this might not happen as the environmental impact assessment for the new location is yet to be completed.

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