Sus­pi­cion over ‘mys­tery’ items taken from old CMC min­ing site

Cyprus Today - - NEWS -

PRO­TEST­ERS have voiced sus­pi­cion about lor­ries trans­port­ing “mys­tery” items out of the former CMC cop­per min­ing site at Gemikon­ağı.

Le­fke Mayor Aziz Kaya led a demon­stra­tion out­side the con­tro­ver­sial site on Wed­nes­day over the trans­porta­tion be­ing car­ried out by the firm tasked in 2007 with clean­ing the area of harm­ful residues and re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing it as a free trade zone and con­tainer port.

A gov­ern­ment review into the deal was an­nounced in 2016 af­ter it emerged that the firm, Port İsbi, had done “noth­ing” since sign­ing the con­tract.

Mr Kaya told the Tak news agency: “Port İsbi im­ported equip­ment [for the clean-up] two years ago but the project’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Re­port [Çed] was not found suit­able, hence it went no fur­ther. A new Çed re­port was re­quested but has still not been pre­sented.”

“Yes­ter­day four lor­ries and trail­ers ar­rived to re­move the equip­ment. We ex­pect an of­fi­cial ex­pla­na­tion.”

The pro­test­ers were backed by the Le­fke En­vi­ron­ment and Pro­mo­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, whose head, Ah­met Hı­zlı, claimed no gov­ern­ment checks were be­ing car­ried out on what was be­ing loaded on to the lor­ries, fu­elling con­cerns that the car­gos could in­clude his­toric CMC lo­co­mo­tives which might be sent abroad.

Cus­toms and Ex­cise head Mustafa Deveci re­futed the claim, say­ing that the lor­ries were op­er­at­ing with the ap­proval of his of­fice.

He said: “The equip­ment for clean­ing was im­ported via Gaz­i­mağusa har­bour two years ago with our full knowl­edge and ap­proval. It is go­ing to be re­turned to Gaz­i­mağusa and that is what all the fuss is about.

“The car­goes were in­spected and loaded to­day so they could be taken there. The com­pany of­fi­cially ap­plied to us for per­mis­sion to do this and it was given.”

How­ever Mr Hı­zlı re­jected the ex­pla­na­tion, claim­ing “there is some­thing fishy go­ing on”.

“The rel­e­vant of­fi­cials should be present when they load the lor­ries rather than leav­ing them to do what­ever they like. We re­quest the State Prop­erty and Ma­te­ri­als Depart­ment take im­me­di­ate stock of the sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

Mr Hı­zlı re­newed calls for a fresh ten­der to clean the CMC site, aban­doned since 1974, say­ing that “af­ter re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion [it] could at­tract in­vest­ment for agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion and tourism”.

Le­fke Mayor Aziz Kaya (cen­tre) led a demon­stra­tion out­side the former CMC cop­per min­ing site

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.