«I want to express my total indignation at the disrespectful way in which, repeatedly, the Municipality of Lagoa was not found, nor found in this process. Neither Francisco Martins, before me, nor myself, have ever been heard about this project. Never!".
It is with these vehement words that Luís Encarnação, Mayor of Lagoa, expresses his disagreement with the way the dredging project has been carried out by the Sines and Algarve Ports Administration (APS), for Deepening and Enlargement of the Navigation Channel of the Port of Portimão.
It ended yesterday, August 11th, the short public consultation phase (only ten days) of the Environmental Impact Assessment of this mega project, which intends to widen the navigation channel and the rotation basins, so that cruise ships with a length of up to 334 meters can enter the Port of Portimão.
The Municipality of Lagoa was one of 86 public and private entities that participated in the public consultation. "Our opinion is unfavorable", in relation to several aspects, assured the mayor of Lagoon in an interview with Sul Informação.
Luís Encarnação regrets that APS has never contacted its Chamber, “to hear our opinion on this matter, to share with us the outlines of the project”.
As a matter of fact, the mayor told our newspaper, “I only had contact with the project on the 30th of July, when we received a communication by email, saying that, in the scope of Civil Protection and regarding security, we had to speak up to the end of that day. Obviously the answer was: we don't give any answer in half a dozen hours on a matter like this”.
Bearing in mind that the public consultation began on August 1, Encarnação emphasizes that “more important for us, than giving the opinion to the district Civil Protection authority, was to prepare a more structured position on the entire project. We created a technical team in the Municipality, which, since that date, has been working very hard in this process».
Luís Encarnação guarantees: «we cannot accept what is in that project, which foresees depositing dredged materials on the beaches of Pintadinho and Molhe and that will make the Marina de Ferragudo project unfeasible forever».
The fact is that, the mayor emphasizes, contrary to what is stated in the Environmental Impact Study, «the Marina de Ferragudo project has not yet died, it is in suspension. There was an opinion from the CCDR, which later led to a decision by the Chamber, and the prosecutor appealed to the court of interpretation of the CCDR. Until it becomes final, this marina project is just suspended».
Well, he explains, «these dredging makes the Marina project unfeasible, if not all, at least a large part».
But the mayor of Lagoa also underlines the “very large” impact that the planned intervention will have “on Angrinha beach and in the village of Ferragudo itself”.
So he says, «I perfectly understand the indignation of the people of Ferragudo, personified in its Chairman of the Board, who have all my solidarity».
Despite his "indignation", the mayor of Lagos now wants to be on the side of the solution and that is why he has already manifested the 'full availability' of your local authority to host a possible future structure that allows to keep, treat, conserve and value the archaeological remains that may be removed from the river. But not with this project, as it was put up for public discussion.
The mayor makes a point of stressing that Lagoa has «the best relations with the Municipality of Portimão and that is not what is at stake. We are uncompromising supporters of projects that are important for the economic development of our region as a whole, especially in the difficult times we are experiencing. Now, this development in the Algarve and in any other municipality cannot be achieved at the expense of harming the municipality of Lagoa. This is completely unacceptable».
Luís Encarnação, who yesterday conveyed to the entire council, at a Chamber meeting, the “unfavorable” position, concludes: “over the past few years, even when Francisco was president and now with me, we have given several signals to those who are entitled to demonstrate our interest in being heard. But the municipality of Lagoa was repeatedly ignored, which causes enormous indignation!”
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