The development of the mountainous regions is a primary goal of the Government, which aimed and continues to aim in practice at supporting the Local Self-Government with a view to development, said the Minister of the Interior Nikos Nouris in his greeting at the inauguration of the water mill of the Platanistasa Community.
As he said, around the middle of the 18th century, according to historical sources, in Platanistasa, the residents placed the first foundation stone of the watermill, on the eastern bank of the Peristeronas river. Other records refer to the existence of a water mill in the village since 1572.
“Today, centuries later, we are here in front of this same monument of historical heritage and legacy, to inaugurate its maintenance and restoration. Actions which will contribute to the continuation of the course of the traditional watermill and the two adjacent bridges over time, leaving “alive” a historical ornament for the Community and the surrounding area”, he said.
Mr. Nouris stated that the specific project had a cost of approximately €470 thousand and was included in Measure 7 of the Rural Development Program 2014-2020, in order to be co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The project concerned the rehabilitation of the preserved watermill that dates back to the Venetian years and has partially collapsed, as well as the restoration and maintenance of two adjacent bridges that were built in 1928.
As he said, the site has been preserved and restored to function as a tourist information and promotion center, providing information to visitors about the history of the building itself, while it will be the starting point for guided tours/tours of the sights of the surrounding communities, as well as the nature trails that exist in the area.
He noted that the implementation of this project will strengthen the development of agro-tourism and naturalistic tourism, will contribute to the increase in visitors and the tourist flow, and by extension to the diversification of the economy, to the reduction of poverty and to the economic recovery of the regions.< /p>
Referring to the plans announced by the Government, he said that in the last announcement of 2022, Platanistasa was included in the Housing Plan for the Revitalization of Mountainous, Critical and Disadvantaged Areas under the category “extremely mountainous and extremely small and remote communities”, a category for which the maximum expansions in eligibility criteria and maximum scheme benefits.
He added that for the wider area of Pitsilia, the overall response to date is considered quite satisfactory, as they have recorded 29 approved applications for an amount of financial assistance of approximately €1.3m [from July 2019 – 31 Dec. 2022], while all of Cyprus to date, 900 applications have been approved, which correspond to financial support of €32.5 million.
He also referred to the Ministry's plan to re-announce within 2023 the housing projects and this time with the available credits to are even more increased.
“Specifically, for the year 2023 we have planned to allocate €20m. mainly to young families who wish to own their own house in the countryside or in the mountains, compared to €15 million in 2022 and €5 million in 2021. And this, dear ones, proves once again our commitment to the vision of the Anastasiades Government for the development and revitalization of the mountainous areas and the countryside”, said the Minister of State for Rural Development.
He added that the inhabitants of the mountainous communities, including the inhabitants of Platanistasa, benefit from the mountain communities allowance more than 600 m to cover their needs, as well as the allowance for remote areas to cover the costs of their transportation/transition to urban centers.