The Water Development Department on Tuesday said it cannot satisfy a demand by residents at a specific Chlorakas apartment building to reconnect the water supply as it does not have the infrastructure near there.
“After examination of the request and investigation of all relevant parameters, it was determined that the request cannot be granted,” the department said in an announcement.
It came a day after a group of the 600 third-country nationals who live in a section of the St Nicolas Elegant Residence held a protest outside the Paphos offices of the department, asking that water supply be reconnected to their building.
According to the department and the residents, the water was cut in 2018 after financial disputes of the manager of the apartment complex and the Chlorakas community council. Other parts of the complex are not affected.
Citing article 19 of the integrated water management law, the residents appealed to the department to temporarily provide them with water pending a court decision on the matter.
But the department said that even though the law stipulates the director, in exceptional cases, can supply water for human consumption directly to approved consumers, these conditions do not apply in this case and the authority does not have infrastructure near the complex.
It added that the local authority is responsible for the water supply at a specific Chlorakas apartment building.
The department explained however that Chlorakas community council cut off the water supply several years ago due to large financial debts from water purchases of the complex owner and initiated legal proceedings against him.
Since then, the water needs of a specific section of the luxury complex have been met by the owner company, “in violation of the terms of the building permit and the law in general as it is not an authorized water supplier,” the department said.
The affected residents, which include Syrian refugee families, were sent a response letter explaining the department’s position.
Meanwhile, locals, mainly Greek Cypriots, have protested the presence of migrants in the area following a massive fight among tenants of the specific residence, with community leader Nicolas Liasides branding it a “concentration camp”.
In their two protests, locals requested from the state to “put Cypriots first” and implement a decree which is in force in Chlorakas that prohibits additional asylum seekers from settling in the village.
Following the violent incident which led to the arrest of fifteen people, police have been carrying sweeps in Chlorakas.
In a fourth sweep carried out on Monday night, police said they arrested three people who had settled in the village illegally against the decree. They were charged and released pending their court appearance.
According to police the arrests occurred during a search in an apartment complex in the village, without specifying whether it is the apartment in question.
Officers also stopped 85 vehicles for a check, of whom they searched 32 and 48 people, and issued 19 fines.
Sweeps in the area will continue, police said.