11 February 2014 16:30

Serious concern has been expressed by the Cyprus Safety and Health Association over heavy construction set to take place near residential communities in the Vasiliko area of Limassol.
After examining the construction master plan, the association said it was concerned that so many "high-risk structures" are to be concentrated in a small area that sits next to several communities.
"We have contacted the Ministry of Commerce to express our concerns and have suggested that other areas are considered for the purpose of this construction project."
The first stage of construction of a shipping oil storage terminal at the Vasiliko power plant was completed in December while the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant (LNG) is expected to commence later this year.
According to the announcement, Vasiliko is the only coastal area on the island undergoing such heavy development at present.
The association appeared particularly apprehensive about government plans to construct the LNG plant within close proximity to the Vasiliko power plant, that was completely destroyed during a munitions blast in July 2011 and has only recently been restored to working order.
"Placing all the high-risk structures within one small area is not a sensible practice.
" We suggest that the natural gas plant is constructed on an area further away from the power plant."
Meanwhile, on Friday - the final day of public consultation over the construction plans - residents said they would not accept the master plan without a study first being carried out into the long-term effects of the development on a land radius of at least 10km from their homes.
"We are calling for all major developments in the area to freeze immediately. We also ask for transparent studies on cost - benefit analysis both for the state and for the region to convince us that the planned projects will be in the interest of our country."
The announcement came after residents held a public meeting, attended also by Athos Charalambous, expert on risk management and security technology, Theodoulos Pantelis, Energy Engineer, a member of the ETEK and Pantelis Metaxas, environmentalist.
"The three speakers analysed and explained the Master Plan and answered questions. In a unanimous resolution being sent to ministries and other relevant bodies, residents complain "about the timeless proven disregard of the state regarding health and safety and on the consultation process, seen as information wasn't disseminated to all affected parties.  We do not accept to approve anything without our consent, without knowing in detail the impacts on health and safety and we therefore reject the "Master Plan" since it is not accompanied by an Impact Study".
The residents said they do not accept "a design of such a magnitude that radically alters the area without a Strategic Study being carried out on the implications of the development of the area within a radius of at least 10km from the reserved area of the Plan as requested by the residents of the region for more than three years".


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