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Construction in Cyprus in ‘state of anarchy’ – Etek

builders 3

Construction in Cyprus is in a “state of anarchy” the Scientific and Technical Chamber (Etek) warned on Monday, saying building violations are out of control.

In a statement, Etek chairman Constantinos Constanti said arbitrariness around construction was increasing “at an uncontrollable rate” with a domino effect causing great concern.

Ranging from the monastery in Cape Greco, the Osiou Avakoum monastery, building in Limassol’s neapolis, developments in Trimiklini and an explosion at a site in Engomi, “these are only few of the laest incidents”.

“Unfortunately, the list is endless,” Constanti said.

The chairman warned there was an increasing frequency surrounding these incidents but also severity, threaten the environment, architectural heritage, health and safety and the public’s sense of justice.

“It seems that we are trapped in a vicious cycle of irreversible consequences, which is interrupted by statements, investigations and public interventions which state the obvious until the next incident occurs,” he said.

“It is with disappointment that we note there is a perception of impunity and tolerance to illegality, which fosters this state of lawlessness.

He added that the law-abiding were punished with unnecessary procedures, delays and inconvenience, while others go through the motions, often without any repercussions.

“Etek is sounding the alarm and warning: the worst is yet to come if we do not change direction immediately.”

Constanti called on Etek’s members to protect the honour of their profession and be led by principles of honesty rather than “the interests of third parties”.

He added Etek has submitted a series of proposals aimed at simplifying procedures so as to speed up the licensing procedures, taking into account the fact that delays are often invoked as a reason for starting operations and illegal developments.

Local authorities are key in carrying out on-site construction inspections and control illegal and unauthorised buildings, Constanti said.

“The crucial point to break the vicious cycle is to give a clear message that there will be no tolerance for illegality, through exemplary and severe punishment of the offenders and immediate demolition of illegal constructions.

“The state through all its arms (central government departments and local government) must implement the legislation and immediately modernise the available tools to enforce legality and remove illegality.”

 

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