Dali residents held a protest outside the presidential palace on Friday as the president chaired a meeting regarding the relocation of the asphalt plants in the area that is expected to be completed within the next three months.

Holding banners with slogans about the right to clean air, demonstrators gathered at around 10.30am to protest once again the unjustified delay in the implementation of the government’s decision to move the two asphalt plants which cause air and nose pollution in the area.

Locals have repeatedly raised concerns about the plants, which are situated near the village’s primary and nursery school and have said that some days the smell from the fumes is unbearable.

Despite a cabinet decision in July 2020 providing for their move to the Koshi area, this has been delayed pending the completion of the necessary studies to ensure the health of nearby residents in the new location, the agriculture ministry had said last year.

Meanwhile, mayors of Larnaca, Aradippou and Lymbia have opposed the decision, saying that the specific area is already burdened by other heavy industry units and cannot handle another source of pollution.

During the meeting on Friday, the president was briefed about the progress of the move.

Following updates from the environmental studies and consultation with the parties involved, it is expected that within three months the process of licensing and relocation will be completed, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said in a statement after the meeting.

The President expressed his satisfaction with the progress achieved, Pelekanos said, and reiterated the government’s determination to implement the decision to move the factories.

He also said the state will strictly comply to conditions and prerequisites in accordance with the environmental studies to ensure the nuisance-free operation of the factories at the new location.

The meeting was attended by the ministers of agriculture, interior, the head of technical services and directors of the town planning and environment departments.