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The “scandal” of the OEDA Pentakomou: Letter – complaint of the Ecological Movement to…

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 Το «σκανδαλο» τησΕΔντκμοστο&ndash κτελςκοικς ;σης στην...

“A huge environmental crime is being committed in the province of Limassol [..] with the participation of at least two departments of your ministry and is being perpetuated by of their guilt”

By Katerina Iliadi

[email protected]

The Ecological Movement of Cyprus sent, last Thursday (9/5/2024), a letter – complaint to the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Maria Panagiotou, on the subject of “Breach of the National and European Legal Framework with OEDA – Pentakomou Works”. In the letter in question – which is accompanied by photos from the previous day – there is talk of a “huge scandal” and of “a huge environmental crime that is being committed in the Limassol district […] with the participation of at least two departments of your ministry and is being perpetuated due to their fault ” and refers to “the management of the household waste of the Limassol district by the OEDA of Pentakomou, or to be more precise, to its non-management and its direct burial in the cell that is supposed to receive only residues”.

Operating Illegally

As noted in the letter – complaint, which is in P's possession, “the Pentakomos Integrated Waste Management Facility has been operating since the end of 2017, with official receipt from the Water Development Department in December 2018, but essentially illegally since has not secured an operating license from the Department of the Environment. Years passed without resolving the main issues and from December 19, 2023, after the impasse reached in the state-contractor relations, the government decided to dissolve their cooperation and the management of the unit passed to the Department of Water Development (s.s. . TAU). What this department does not seem to understand is that it must manage the unit within the national and European legal framework and the conditions set for its operation by the government, since it is on this basis that most of of financing from European funds”.

 Το «σκανδαλο» ηεΔΑακμοστοκ ατγελσΟιογισΚνσ ης στην...

“There is a problem”

“In June 2023, during a visit to the unit, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Petros Xenophontos said that what they had the opportunity to see today was not the most pleasant. “There really is a problem,” he said, indicating that since receiving the unit in 2017 “it hasn't worked properly.” In the continuation of the letter, reference is made to a leak to the media by the relevant ministry and/or departments for the termination of the contract, in September 2023, for the measures that would be taken after the state took over the management of OEDA, as well as in complaints and photos published by “Politis” about the non-treatment of household waste (January 2024). In particular, “it is clearly seen that untreated waste is being buried directly since the waste bags are intact, with the result that the OEDA Pentakomos has been turned into a landfill, in violation of both national and community law. In the attached photos, which were taken yesterday (May 8, 2024), it appears that this direct burial continues.”

Fire in April< /b>

“On February 8, 2024, I proceeded to report this practice to the Limassol Provincial Department of Environment, and I was promised that an on-the-spot inspection and resolution of the matter would take place. I have had no response from the Environment Department since then. In the third week of April, the first fire broke out in the OEDA of Pentakomou due to spontaneous combustion. We received the complaint from the residents but we did not see any press release, neither from TAU nor from the Fire Service”.

What happened to the conclusion?

“The more we study this case, the more we realize that there is a huge scandal that has much larger dimensions than the issues I described to you above, but, for the time being, we are directly interested in the compliance of state structures with the legal framework of the state and ensuring the health of the residents. We look forward to the actions that will result from the conclusion of the investigation into the OEDA Pentakomou which was carried out on the instructions of the Council of Ministers in 2019 and delivered to the former minister Kostas Kadis in February 2023, which was received by the former minister Petros Xenophontos and forwarded to the Council of Ministers November 2023, which he in turn promoted to the attorney general. Of course, the finding remains before you and concerns very serious matters that fall under your portfolio.”

OLAF activated

“I also remind you that the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was activated following a complaint by a government department in 2020, which resulted in a report which is expected to be made public soon, but which seems to assign responsibility to the Contracting Authority Authority for malpractices in the competition phase. What I have recorded above should not come as a surprise to you and the two directors-general of your ministry, but I hope that, after the formal complaint we have made, that adequate answers and timelines will be given to immediately end the lawlessness on a massive scale that it is carried out by the state itself […] In the context of the citizens' right to information on matters concerning the environment, please share with us both the conclusion that your ministry has received since February 2023, as well as the OLAF report if it has been delivered to you'. It is noted that the letter – complaint is signed by the general secretary of the Cyprus Environmental Movement Efi Xanthou, who recently left the Environmental Movement – Citizens' Cooperation. The entire letter as well as very recent photos and videos on “P's” website: politis.com.cy

History

The Pentakomos Integrated Waste Management Facility has been operating for seven years, since 2017, without being licensed, because it does not pass the environmental and other criteria. The contract for the OEDA Limassol, based in Pentakomos, was signed in 2015 and its construction cost is approximately 38 million euros (co-financed by the EU Cohesion Fund) and with operating costs of approximately 30 million until the contract is completed in November 2027. A prerequisite for co-financing is the licensing of the projects, with the possibility now open that the Republic of Cyprus will be called upon to cover the euro funds and to pay a fine for non-compliance with our country's obligations, regarding the Community acquis in the field of Urban Solids management Waste (MSW). As of December 19, 2023, the management of the Pentakomos OEDA was transferred to the Water Development Department, due to disagreements with the contractor of the unit. The TAU is managing the unit in this transitional stage until everything that needs to be done is done so that the OEDA operates normally and correctly, as the authorities claim. It is noted that the image in the unit is still very poor, since instead of waste being managed, it is buried exactly as it is received. The Limassol Waste Disposal Exploitation Council (SEDAL) refuses, after seven years of operation of OEDA Pentakomos (the place where all Limassol's dogs end up), to take it over, as it should, due to the many and serious problems that exist in the unit. There is a strong stench in the area – piles of garbage have been created which remain untouched for days – while the risk of a fire breaking out, as happened last April, is increased.

See videos and photos that received last Wednesday, May 8, 2024:

 Το «σκανδαλο» ηεΔΑακμοστοκ ατγελσΟιογισΚνσ ης στην...

At the OEDA of Pentakomou, waste is not managed, but “directly buried in the cell that is supposed to receive only residues”. The photo was taken last Wednesday 8/5/2024.

 Το «σκανδαλο» ηεΔΑακμοστοκ ατγελσΟιογισΚνσ ης στην...

The OEDA of Pentakomo operates as a landfill, claims the Ecological Movement of Cyprus. Photo snapshot dated May 8, 2024.

 Το «σκανδαλο» τ ηεΔΑακμοστοκ ατγελσΟιογισΚνσ ης στην...

Source: politis.com.cy

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