The municipalities of Dali, Geri, and Tseri have demanded an end to the “nuisance” heavy industry zones in the area.

Instead, they say, the zones should be transformed into “light industrial zones”.

The statement comes after a fire which started in a recycling facility in Geri ripped through the region on Sunday, leaving toxic smoke in the area until Monday afternoon.

The municipalities said “it is the umpteenth time we have witnessed these serious and dangerous incidents, which happen very close to other industrial premises where fuel, bleach, and asphalt are stored”.

In addition, they also demanded the creation of an environmental control service, to ensure that businesses and industries are taking due care regarding the environment.

They say that the current situation, whereby “two officials from the Environmental department are in charge of controlling the whole Nicosia district” is unacceptable, and that the government should be increasing checks on companies.

Citing figures produced by a European Commission study in 2018, they said that a Cypriot environmental control service should have around 45 staff. In contrast, they pointed out, the Environmental department currently employs eight inspectors across Cyprus.

They also say that the legislative framework surrounding environmental issues should be changed so that there are sufficient deterrent penalties for negligence and lawbreaking.

The municipalities have requested a meeting with President Nikos Christodoulides to discuss the matters.