Chlorakas residents bemoan ‘unbearable’ stone-crushing plant

RESIDENTS of Chlorakas outside Paphos have had to live with the dust and noise of a stone-crushing plant in their “back yards” for the past seven years.

The residents brought their case to the House Environment Committee yesterday, seeking an end to their misery.

“The factory starts off at 6.45am, the noise is unbearable, we have to shut our windows and leave our homes. We cannot return during the day for a rest because of the noise and dust. We can only use our homes for sleeping at night,” residents’ representative Charalambos Antoniades told deputies.

“We have been complaining for seven years to the District office and the government but nothing happens,” he said.

The plant resumed operation in 1991, after closing down in 1985. Originally built on open land in 1969, the plant has since been enveloped by building development.

Antoniades alleged that plant owner Nearchos Iliades, also present at the committee, had only restarted stone crushing seven years ago in a bid to get the state to pay him to cease operations. The owner dismissed this claim and said he had no objection to shutting shop, provided he was adequately compensated.

Both deputies and government representatives agreed the stone-crushing plant had to be moved and the plant owner compensated. But Green party spokesman George Perdikis was doubtful such good intentions would materialise into action.

Committee chairman Demetris Iliades acknowledged that past experience gave weight to Perdikis’ fears. He recounted how the government had promised, 14 years ago, that the plant would go because it lay in the path of the West Paphos by-pass. “But the road went elsewhere and the factory stayed,” Iliades lamented.

Government officials said relocating the plant was no easy thing, as space in approved industrial estates was limited.

Demetris Iliades, keen that action should be taken, demanded that the Paphos District Office send the committee a monthly progress report on relocation efforts.

Nearchos Iliades piped up that he didn’t really want to relocate, and would be happy to shut up shop completely if adequately compensated. But deputies and government officials were too busy arguing the ins and outs of relocation to hear him.