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Dali residents step up protests against asphalt plants

dali parents demo
Dali residents protest outside the environment department on Thursday (Photo Christos Theodorides)

Dali residents gathered outside the environment department in Nicosia on Thursday morning in another protest against the two asphalt plants operating in their community.

“The situation is out of control, people inhale harmful substances daily,” one of the demonstrators told reporters.

Following multiple letters to state officials and numerous protests throughout the years cabinet earlier this year decided the plants should be relocated.

However, the time frame for the implementation of the decision has not been adhered to, the residents said, who were promised the plants would relocate by the end of March.

“Every day that passes you are leading us to a slow death,” one of the demonstrator’s banners read.

The air pollution from the factories is also affecting the primary and nursery school in the area, attended by more than 550 children who are “forgotten by the state”, the demonstrators added.

Another protestor said that she wears a facemask 24/7 and that three women had recently died from cancer, demanding the right to “breathe clean air”.

Earlier this year, cabinet decided to move the plants to near Koshi area in the Larnaca district.

However, the mayors of Larnaca, Aradippou and Lymbia have opposed the decision, saying that the specific area is already burdened by the waste management unit, and the storage of EAC wooden electricity poles that are permeated with toxic substances (creosote) and cannot handle another source of pollution.

Last month, the agriculture ministry explained that the delay for the relocation is due to additional studies that are being carried out which were deemed necessary.

“We understand the concerns of the residents of the area and assure them that we will continue to work hard towards a definitive solution to the problem as soon as possible,” the ministry had said, in response to another protest organised by Dali residents earlier in September.

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