Lawmakers plan to address the environmental concerns surrounding the Akamas road improvement project in an upcoming parliamentary discussion, aiming to uncover the reasons behind the project’s violations and potential mismanagement. Urgent corrective measures are necessary to address the significant environmental damage caused and prevent further degradation of the region’s ecology.
What are the environmental concerns raised over the Akamas road improvement project?
Recent reports reveal that the Akamas road improvement project has led to significant environmental damage due to violations such as improper site management, reopening of sensitive pathways, and construction practices that deviate from original plans. Immediate corrective actions are required to address the untimely progress and prevent further degradation of the region’s ecology.
Acknowledged Violations by State Agencies
Recent reports have brought to light a series of violations related to the Akamas road improvements. The Department of Environment and the Game Service have both recognized these infringements against the legal terms set for the project. The improper management and operation of construction sites have led to significant environmental damage, which the authorities now stress must be remedied swiftly.
Urgent Corrective Measures Required
The Department of Environment has indicated that despite the deviations from the special ecological study’s requirements, these can be rectified if immediate actions are taken. Their communication has highlighted the urgency in addressing these concerns, particularly with regards to the untimely progress of the constructions, which they consider a critical ecological issue.
The Fight to Protect Akamas
Concern for the Akamas region has been echoed by a wide array of environmental organizations. Their continuous efforts, spanning nearly four decades, have recently escalated into an urgent call to action in order to protect the area from further degradation.
Environmental Impact of Opened Roads
During the roadworks, certain paths that were previously closed to prevent vehicular traffic, such as those safeguarding the sand dunes at Toxeftra, have been reopened. The Department of Environment has made it clear that measures must be taken by the contractor to halt the passage of private vehicles in these sensitive areas.
Questions Raised Over Construction Practices
The Department has requested that the Forestry Department provide explanations for the widening of roads and the deep excavations observed, which exceed 65cm in depth. There is also a call for a rationale behind the construction of additional retaining walls not included in the original plans. Furthermore, the handling of building materials and debris, especially in the Lara area, has deviated from agreed-upon locations, causing concern over the conservation of the environment.
The Game Service’s Recommendations
The Game Service has proposed a reevaluation of the entire Akamas road network plans, suggesting a reduction in the number of road junctions and the elimination of those that significantly alter the natural landscape. They have also recommended that certain road sections, such as the one from Avakas to Lipati, be reassessed with their input, as some activities have been conducted during hawk species’ breeding seasons, which is prohibited.
Wildlife Habitats at Risk
The Game Service has noticed that the works have unexpectedly involved the removal of the area’s characteristic rocky substrate. They stress the need to reconsider the placement of retaining walls, which should only be situated in areas prone to landslides and must include openings to prevent the fragmentation of wildlife habitats.
Continued Access Despite Construction
Despite ongoing construction, the area remains open to visitors, including those in buggies and on “safari tours,” leading to unregulated movements and deviations from designated routes. This, coupled with the delay in water management works necessary for the rainy season, raises concerns over the project’s ongoing negative environmental impact.
Parliamentary Discussion Imminent
The multitude of issues presented by the Akamas road network project is set to be discussed in parliament. Lawmakers aim to investigate the root cause of the project’s misdirection, whether due to improper instructions to the contractor or other reasons.
- Recent reports reveal significant environmental damage caused by violations and mismanagement in the Akamas road improvement project.
- State agencies have acknowledged the violations and stress the need for urgent corrective measures.
- Environmental organizations have been fighting for the protection of the Akamas region for decades and now call for immediate action.
- Certain roads that were previously closed have been reopened, causing concern for sensitive areas.
- Questions have been raised about construction practices, including the widening of roads and handling of building materials.