A VISIT to the unspoiled outer reaches of the Karpaz is the highlight of many a holiday, and the photos of sweeping white sands a perennial album favourite.
But for those venturing down to the photogenic Golden Beach recently, eager anticipation has turned to dismay, anger and disgust at the sight of mounds of debris lying in the dunes after the area's wooden chalets were knocked down. Not to mention other detritus from visitors no longer able to avail themselves of the accommodation and toilet facilities they once offered.
While some who remembered the Karpaz before the advent of the seaside bungalows bemoaned their proliferation, they were beloved by many who enjoyed them as an eco-friendly retreat.
Love 'em or loathe 'em, though, there are some points of consensus: first, that their construction and continued operation had been unauthorised, as demonstrated by lawsuits culminating in the demolitions that began in July.
And more importantly now: that the resulting debris, piled up like some monstrous flotsam, is far worse than what stood there before.
It's the most bizarre approach to environmental stewardship. By all means take the punitive action sanctioned by the courts – but get straight in afterwards to clear the wreckage away. Bad enough, as we've already pointed out, that the closure and destruction of the bungalows took place during the height of the tourism season. But for the authorities to allow a virtual bombsite to be left behind is irresponsible in the extreme.
This all comes as speculation and concern mount about the government's intentions for the Karpaz – Golden Beach in particular – and imminent changes to the decree that has protected it, with talk of plans to build replacement toilets and other facilities where the wooden huts once stood.
For those who love the Karpaz, a senior environmental official's comment that the ruins “will be removed slowly as consultations continue . . . to draft new planning proposals” offers scant comfort.
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