Residents from eight communities around Vasiliko in Limassol are up in arms after viewing a master plan of construction set to take place close to their homes around the island’s biggest power plant. Speaking to the media after presentation of the plan in Skarinou yesterday, Community leader of Kalavasos Lefteris Foka said residents are furious because they were not consulted before the launch of a recent building project and also feel the authorities are not taking their concerns over future construction seriously.
“We received the master plan on January 1 but the timeframe for public consultation on the matter is scheduled to end on February 7,” said Foka. “We had our very first meeting with government representatives on Wednesday and this only took place after a request from the local communities.”
He added that the authorities have so far been extremely uncooperative and dismissive of concerns raised by residents.
“The mater plan we were given is written in English and contains terms which many of the residents find difficult to understand.”
The communities further claim the authorities have failed to give satisfactory answers over how the construction will affect their daily lives.
“The main fear the communities have is that they will be forced to relocate because of the construction detailed in the master plan. We refuse to let the entire heavy construction industry of Cyprus move into our neighbourhood.”
During the presentation by A.L.A Planning Partnership, Ministry of Commerce official Yiannis Economides said the plan was prepared by government experts and advisors from Noble Energy International Ltd.
“We are working hard to find a solution that will satisfy the best interest of Cyprus, local residents and the environment.”
The plan details construction of a liquefied natural gas plant at Vassiko which is expected to commence later in the year while the first stage of construction of a shipping oil storage terminal in the same area was completed earlier this month. Environmental Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou expressed shock over the fact that there is no comprehensive government master plan for future heavy construction across the island.
“As there is no comprehensive plan for construction across the island analysing this specific plan is pointless.”
The eight communities affected by pending construction around Vasiliko are: Mari, Zygi, Kalavasos, Maroni, Psematismenos, Tochni, and Pentakomo.