The state is not responsible for landslides on private property, the interior ministry said on Friday, a day after MPs and the mayor of Agland applied for financial assistance to clean up debris from such landslides near homes.
The ministry was referring to the problem of rockfalls in the residential area of Aglandia municipality in Nicosia, including debris from rockfalls that occurred after the January 12th earthquake. The matter was debated in the House Home Affairs Committee on Thursday, when Agland Mayor Andreas Constantinou accused the authorities of being apathetic to their plight and warned of possible future casualties.
In response, the interior ministry said that, after examining the risks, it allocated 560,000 euros to clean up waste from public land, while transferring responsibility for private land to the municipality.
“The municipality was required, when reviewing development applications, to require private developers to conduct geological/geotechnical surveys on the sites and take measures to protect and sustain both the buildings under construction and neighboring properties.”
The ministry also cited a letter dated 23 April 2019 from the Attorney General of Pissouri on a similar issue . houses affected by the phenomenon of subsidence or landslide in the community.
“Therefore, it is not obliged to repair or reconstruct the houses in question or to pay any compensation for the damage caused, regardless of whether the reason is the inconsistency of design solutions, the action of nature, or a combination of both.”
He added that the ministry “did not ignore the problems” of the municipality, but provided assistance of 20,000 euros for a study to restore the municipality’s two damaged halls.
“Therefore, we urge the Mayor and the City Council of Aglandia, before making such public statements, to ensure that they have assumed their former responsibilities.”
According to the mayor, a 2017 study showed that the restoration work, both on public and private lands, would cost 1.82 million euros.
He warned that the situation remains dangerous. “Every day we wake up and get baptized, just thinking about when the next landslide might happen,” Constantinou said.
After the January 12 earthquake, the municipality asked the ministry for help in rebuilding private housing estates. The ministry replied that the collapse of the rock was not related to the earthquake, as it happened the day after the shock.
Thus, the municipality was not eligible for financial assistance and was forced to use its own funds to clear the rubble.
After the meeting, committee chairman Aristos Damianou (Akel) called on the government to change its policy and allocate the necessary funds
“Human life is not measured by whether land is private or public,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Geological Exploration has completed a study that will be published soon and will warn the public about the danger zones in the capital, as well as possible additional costs if they want to build a house.