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Athens Mayor steps up flood measures October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment.
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Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis called on the government yesterday to help clean up the city’s storm drains as the Municipality presented its winter action plan aimed at flood prevention.

Kaklamanis accused the companies contracted to clean up storm drains of not doing their jobs after being appointed the task by the Environment and Public Works Ministry.

“Contractors that have undertaken the specific work either do not know how to do their jobs or have not completed the work,” said the Mayor. He also called on the Public Works Ministry to give contractors a three-month extension to fulfill their obligations. A check by the Municipality of Athens inspection teams found that 80 percent of storm drains are blocked with rubbish, including mattresses and rolls of carpet, posing a serious flood threat. The task of cleaning storm drains will be undertaken by the Municipality as of next year.

The Municipality of Athens has marked out danger areas in the city and prepared an action plan on how to be better prepared for any winter rain. The target of the plan is to avoid placing human lives at risk and prevent homes and shops from being flooded, added Kaklamanis. Sudden and intense thunderstorms often bring the city to a standstill during the winter months with flooded roads a common problem for drivers and pedestrians.

With regard to recycling efforts that have been slow in getting off the ground, Kaklamanis said that the council is looking into setting up a new company to oversee and implement programs. The Hellenic Recovery and Recycling Corporation has offered the Municipality trucks to collect recyclable goods but has not provided drivers and trained staff, according to Kaklamanis.

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