Work to complete water treatment plant "imminent"

Work at the water treatment plant is 95 per cent complete
Work at the water treatment plant is 95 per cent complete / Eugenio Cabezas
  • An investigation into the cause of the delay in the sewage works is open with town hall and central government accusing each other of failures

The continuing saga of Nerja's unfinished water treatment plant has been at the centre of the town hall's agenda this week as an investigation into the delays to the work has been opened. In the same week, Spain's central government has said that work is to start again "imminently".

Former mayor José Alberto Armijo was to answer questions at the start of the investigation on Thursday. Speaking on Wednesday before proceedings got under way, he said that he feared that the investigation would turn into an analysis of past issues, rather than looking into why work stopped on the plant early in 2016. He added that he was, "happy to help with any questions," that he is asked, adding, "they need to focus on why the work has been at a standstill for almost a year and the person responsible for that is the mayor, Rosa Arrabal, because according to the information we have the town hall has had applications for road closures in order to do the work needed near Burriana beach and other areas since last November."

However, Arrabal claims that although central government wrote to the town hall to say they would start applying for licences to close the roads, no applications were actually received.

The town has had plans for a water treatment plant since 2005 and in 2012, when Calle Carabeo was pedestrianised, pipes were laid that would eventually be linked up to the main station. However, the project was halted in June 2016, ahead of the height of the holiday season as the main pumping station is near to the popular Burriana beach to the east of the town. The council felt that road closures would lead to too much disruption and loss of earnings for businesses in the area and ordered the company which is carrying out the works, Isolux-Corsán-Corviam, to halt activity.

The standoff between Nerja Town Hall and central government appears to be coming to an end with the promise from Miguel Briones, the central government's representative in Malaga, who has told SUR that work will start again, "in the next few weeks", with the objective that Nerja's water treatment plant will be fully operational by the end of 2017.

Work still outstanding includes completing the main pumping station near Burriana beach, a further pumping station at the Chíllar river and a number of sewage pipes.