The question of the construction of anti-flood works to protect the areas of Kamara and Vergina in Larnaca, occupied the work of the Committee of the Interior on Thursday, with the MPs calling on the Ministry of the Interior to immediately implement its previous commitments on of the subject. As mentioned by EDEK Member of Parliament Andreas Apostolou, the committee decided to send a letter to the Minister in this direction.
In his statements after the end of the debate, DISY Member of Parliament Prodromos Alabritis noted with satisfaction the position of the Ministry of the Interior regarding the preparation of a draft proposal to the Council of Ministers for financing the project according to the study that has been prepared, adding that it must proceed immediately the study for the Vergina area where there is a risk of the phenomena reoccurring.
He added that in the past period some projects were carried out by the Municipality of Larnaca and Aradippou, the provincial administration and the Sewerage Council, which improved the situation, but there must be an acceleration of studies and projects to reduce the risk of flooding and protect the citizens' property.
AKEL Member of Parliament Andreas Pasiourtidis also noted with satisfaction today's decision of the Interior Committee to send a letter to the Minister of the Interior in which he will present to him the decisions made by the deputies of the Larnaka District and the rest of the committee members, regarding the project's construction schedules, as the construction plans have been completed and the amount remains to be disbursed to start their construction.
"We keep the verbal commitment of the Minister of the Interior one day after the floods that he will take the matter directly to the Council of Ministers for approval of the 4-5 million fund,", adding that they want the exact schedule of disbursement of installments in writing so that he can and the contracting authority to issue tenders for the start of the works.
For his part, DIKO MP Christos Orfanidis stated that the necessity of completing the anti-flood project in Kamares has not been realized.
"It is a demand of all Larnaca MPs and the concern is that the studies be done for all the projects where they are needed so that they are not left empty", stressed Mr. Orfanidis, at the same time appealing to the parties involved to meet and within 15 days to come with specific proposals that will reassure the concerns of the citizens, but also those who are interested and sympathize with the anxiety of the residents of the area.
ELAM Member of Parliament Sotiris Ioannou stated that the problem of flooding in the province of Larnaca is real, with citizens not interested when their property is threatened as to who is responsible, adding that jointly the Larnaka MPs have asked the Ministry of the Interior to express his practical political will to solve this big problem.
EDEK Member of Parliament Andreas Apostolou said that the projects in Kamares were a political commitment given to Larnaca since 2014, shortly after the start of the of the current administration, which has not been implemented until today, a few months before the end of her second term.
He added that given the communication of the Minister of the Interior with the Mayor of Larnaca, to whom he expressed the will to proceed with the implementation of the commitment, and today's unanimous decision of the Committee of the Interior, a letter will be sent to the Minister of the Interior requesting that the commitment of to Larnaca for the implementation of the specific project amounting to approximately €5 million will be sent directly to the Council of Ministers for approval and it is expected that an amendment will be submitted to the budget of the Ministry of the Interior so that this political commitment will be transformed into action before the end of her term of office current government and not be carried over to the next one.
The Mayor of Larnaca Andreas Vyras was also invited to the discussion, who said that the first phase of the project covering the residential areas of Larnaca and the Aradippou in the area of Kamara as there is no more room for excuses for the residents ys.
"We are waiting for the Ministry's written commitment as soon as possible that the project will be financed and that the Larnaca Sewerage Council will undertake the implementation of the project. At the same time, the rest of the works concerning the residential area of the Municipality of Aradippos in the Vergina area, which is not covered by the first phase of the project, should also proceed and a way must be found to cover the area because the residents are interested in protecting the their properties”, emphasized Mr. Vyras.
He added that the first phase of the project amounts to €5 million, with the total cost estimated at €14-15 million, and in case of a written commitment from the Ministry that there is funding, the Municipality will accept offers until the end of the year , with the project starting around March with an implementation period of 18 months.
Mr. Vyras also mentioned that in the last five years, Larnaca has completed approximately €13 million in anti-flooding projects, it has secured another 18 million from the Recovery Fund, four more major anti-flooding projects are starting within the year and it continues with another 3- 4 projects in 2023 and 2024, totaling €18 million.
The success of the support project in Pissouri is uncertain according to ETEK, says Attalidou
The Member of Parliament for Environmentalists – Citizens' Cooperation Alexandra Attalidou referred in her statements to the issue of project planning in Cyprus in general, speaking of sloppiness and the state's inability to plan properly so that there are no consequences afterwards.
In addition to the problem of the floods in Larnaca, Mrs. Attalidou also referred to the problems created by the ongoing subsidence of the subsoil in the community of Pissouri, arguing that the state is responsible for this situation, while stating that according to ETEK it is not not sure if the ground support project at Pissouri will be effective, as there is a 50% chance that the support will fail, and that there should be time between the first and second phases to carry out the studies and measurements that would confirm whether the project will be effective.
«The state cannot spend millions if there are doubts about whether the project will stop to the problem that exists and threatens the property and the lives of the residents”, he stressed, adding that any future developments should take into account climate change.