The relocation of an asphalt plant to the Mitsero area will not affect the residents either through the pollution or odour it will emit, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday in response to reservations by academics over the move.

The ministry said that though it appreciates and respects the opinion of the advisory team of the University of Cyprus on the matter of the relocation of the asphalt plant from Dhali to Mitsero, based on various studies, “it is certain that the installation of an asphalt plant in the area of Mitsero will not have a negative impact on the residents of the surrounding area.”

The ministry was referring to two studies carried out by scientists, one on the emission of pollution and the other on odour. It added that the relocation of the plant was done after a committee set up to examine the move unanimously agreed to it. The committee, consisted of representatives of all competent state services, environmental groups and the Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK), has put forth strict terms on the plant’s operation, the ministry added.

It also said it took into serious consideration the academics’ positions, adding that significant benefits emerged from its cooperation with them, which will be utilised both for the specific case and in future similar cases. The ministry had requested the contribution of four academics from the university on the matter.

It said it wishes to continue its cooperation with the university experts, both as to which issue exactly they disagree on but also for the relocation of other asphalt plants and to monitor the operation of these units in their new premises.

Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis will seek to have a meeting with the academics soon to discuss further cooperation with them.

After much haggling the government announced recently it would relocate an asphalt plant from Dhali to Mitsero following strong reactions and protests by residents over the pollution affecting them.

But Mitsero residents are now opposing the relocation to their area expressing concerns over its impact on their and their children’s health.

The deadline for the relocation of the plant was set in February.