Plans to redevelop Larnaca harbour and marina will remain at a standstill until the end of March in order to review the ambitious integrated development project.
This was the fundamental message given at a meeting at the Municipal Art Gallery this week organised by the Municipality of Larnaca.
Serious development problems and issues regarding the upgrading of the quality of life of locals were also raised by municipal councillors and discussed by the Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis and Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroutziatis.
PORT- MARINA: Considerable emphasis was given to the serious and acute problem of finding a strategic investor for the integrated development of the port and marina. The matter should be resolved by the end of March 2014. If a strategic investor is not found to allocate more than €170 million for the development, the Larnaca Development Committee and the Larnaca Municipal Council will have to take final and urgent decisions. The urgency of the matter was highlighted by all who spoke at the meeting who expressed concern the project may be abandoned.
TOURISM: Residents are worried about the unsolved problems of the hotel and tourism industry of Larnaca and said the town should be the site for the proposed casino. The airport is an advantage, but comprehensive studies are still needed in order to find a strategic investor, said the minister adding that Larnaca should also present its own researcher/ investor.
Tour operators, who are not including Larnaca in their holiday packages, have warned that abandoned hotels in the city and on the tourist Dhekelia-Larnaca coast (Oroklini -Pyla) are damaging the town's image as a tourist destination. The President of the Larnaca's Tourism Development and Promotion Company, Dinos Lefkaritis said that there is no interest on the part of the owners to restore the damage they cause to domestic tourism product.
PETROLEUM TANKS: The removal of gas and petrol storage tanks and their relocation in the next three years to the energy centre under development at Vasiliko is another serious problem. The International airport is an important asset and will greatly help in development of golf courses, better hospitality and promote the construction of the bypass promenade on the Mackenzie - Meneou coast, shortening the Larnaca - Kition road by 14 kilometres.
The objections of the Vasiliko-Mari communities over the lack of an environmental study for the master plan of the Energy Centre were studied in a meeting at the Energy Ministry and it was decided to address the concerns of residents with regards to safety, health and environment. The development of the energy centre should not be delayed.
BUS TERMINALS: During the meeting, the issue of operating bus terminals on Kilkis Street in Larnaca was raised. Intercity buses will have to leave the premises belonging to the Energy Ministry in the near future.
The International Beach Volleyball Tournament will this year be held at Phinikoudes from July 22-27 while Larnaca hopes to host the World University Games of 2015.