A large protest is planned for March 27 by the municipality of Dhali to push for the immediate closure and removal of an asphalt plant from their area, which they say has been threatening their health for years.
The government had already decided to relocate the two plants, one in Dhali and one in Yeri, but it is having problems in finding suitable locations after reactions from residents living near likely new locations.
And, in a new blow to Dhali residents on Thursday, the Nicosia district court rejected a state request to shut down the plants pending their relocation. The attorney-general’s office said the interim decisions would be appealed.
Residents want the plants shut immediately and will take to the streets on March 27 to push their demand for immediate closure.
The car protest will start at Dhali’s Gamma primary school at 10am and drive to the presidential palace in Nicosia.
They have two demands; the intervention of the president, and the immediate start of the relocation.
Protesters pledge to comply with Covid measures.
Dhali residents have staged numerous protests in recent years, complaining of breathing problems caused by the emissions from the plant, which situated close to a school.
Residents said the problem was exacerbated during lockdowns when people were more exposed to emissions at home for longer periods.
In June last year, Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou-Lottides said in a report that human rights had trumped business rights when it came to the continued operation of the two plants.
She also slammed local authorities for not taking any action, especially as one of the two plants did not have the proper operating licence.