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Cyprus

Report on Akamas roadworks expected ‘within days’

feature iole a new retaining wall and widened road as works have begun from the paphos end of the akamas towards lara bay
Photo: Nick Theodoulou

A report into construction work on roads in the Akamas region is expected to be completed “within days”, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said on Wednesday.

The report, which is being written by the ad hoc committee created to look into the works, will be submitted to cabinet “by mid-March at the latest,” she said.

She added that she is “absolutely committed to transparency” on the matter.

Construction work on roads in the Akamas region has been “temporarily halted” since November due to environmental concerns and accusations of construction taking place outside the agreed parameters.

The “National Akamas Forest Plan” to allow construction to take place in some areas of the peninsula was rolled out in September last year.

However, construction lasted a mere matter of weeks before environmental groups cried foul, saying works had been carried out in violation of “precisely stipulated, non-negotiable conditions attached to the plan”.

Soon after, President Nikos Christodoulides said he was “personally annoyed” by evidence that construction work had deviated from the agreed plans, adding his voice to the cries for construction works to be halted.

Contractor Cyfield then announced all construction works on the road network in the Akamas peninsula would be halted until all issues were settled, while members of the House environment committee described the government as “pathetic.

Then-Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos said works had deviated from the original plan and called for an investigation into how that happened, before days later saying construction works would proceed and would not be suspended under any circumstances.

Most recently, two petitions filed regarding the projects were discussed at the European parliament’s petitions committee, with both requesting that the European parliament take measures “to protect the area’s biodiversity”.

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