The president of the Asociación de Empresarios de Nerja (AEN), Angela Díaz, has expressed her satisfaction with the latest published news relating to the existence of an allocation of funds for the proposed sewage plant in Nerja, specifically an item on page 142 of the State Budget for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment under the heading ‘National Water Quality’.
The allocation for the year 2014 is €5 million and Díaz believes that it lends credibility to the letter sent to the Council in Nerja by the Director General of Water, a dependency of the Ministry of Environment, confirming that funding will be made available and a commitment made to sign the necessary documents ‘shortly’ to allow construction to begin, possibly at the end of this year.
The sewage plant project has now been around for over four decades, and yet still no stone has been laid. Hopefully that situation is about to change, but in the meantime it cannot be denied that the lack of sewage facilities has, particularly in the past couple of years, affected tourism to the area.
One only has to trawl the various travel and other forums to read about potential visitors, particularly those with young children, changing their holiday plans or first time visitors vowing not to return due to their unfortunate experiences while swimming in the coastal waters.
For many years, the estimated cost for the construction of a sewage plant in Nerja was generally in the region of 35 to 40 million euros. When the latest, elevated site was announced, a number of experts revised the estimate to between 60 and 80 million as heavy duty pumping stations would be required for up to 95% of the waste matter produced in the municipality.
The contract was awarded in 2012 in the amount of €23 million, way below any of the historical estimates. In many ways, though, the cost is immaterial, the town desperately needs the sewage plant as a matter of urgency, not least in order to comply with EU regulations which come into force in 2015.