In particular, the issue of the construction of Larnaca-Dekeleia Road (Phase C) was discussed during the meeting, which is one of the most important pending infrastructure projects within Larnaca region, and which directly affects the tourism industry.
The minister of transport stated that according to plans, the tender for the construction of the project is expected to be announced in May, whilst expropriations are pending due to issues that fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment.
The Larnaca authorities made an appeal to the Minister for any possible efforts to minimise the impact the construction works will have on the hotel units located along Larnaca-Dekeleia Road, especially during the summer season. The work is estimated to take 30 months to complete.
Regarding the issue of creating breakwaters in the areas of Voroklini and Pervolia, Karousos said the outcome was positive, with the tender expected to be awarded in April. The duration of construction on the project will be two years.
The ambitious project of the unified development of the Larnaca Port and Marina is proceeding smoothly, according to the Minister and the transitional period of one year has already entered into force, during which time the investor will, among other things, hold meetings with the affected bodies regarding the completion of the spatial planning and the securing of the relevant permits.
The issues concerning the Department of Antiquities were discussed, with emphasis given to the reopening of the District Archaeological Museum, for which the minister gave assurances that all relevant studies have been completed, allowing the operation of the museum to commence in July of this year.
Representatives of the Department of Antiquities also stated that the museum will be completely upgraded and presented in interesting thematic sections that will include, among other exhibits and artefacts, the findings from recent excavations in the region.
In addition, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works - in collaboration with Larnaca Municipality - will promote the creation of a master plan for the unification of the museum with the ancient port, the archaeological site of Ancient Kition, and the mosaic with the feats of Hercules, for which a relevant study is expected. In relation to the ancient port, the demolition of the tennis courts on Kilkis Street is expected to be completed by the end of September, so that excavations by the French Archaeological Mission can begin in October.
Regarding the mosaic depicting the exploits of Hercules on Ag. Neophytou, Karousos said the excavations are ongoing, while for the purposes of its on-site promotion, a relevant study will be undertaken in collaboration with Larnaca Municipality.
Regarding the request of LTB for the possibility to perform civil weddings at ancient monuments - and specifically in Larnaca Medieval Castle, Karousos said that the relevant regulations are being forwarded to the parliament, while an effort will be made to redefine the proposed fees following requests from the tourism sector.
The minister also said that regarding the addition of structures to enrich the artificial reefs in the new marine protected area of Larnaka and other areas of the island by the Department of Public Works in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, this would take place this year, which would greatly enhance the development of diving tourism in the region.