Local Daily News 21st May

Orihuela begins the repair of the sinkhole in the Paseo de La Caleta in Cabo Roig pending from the DANA of 2019

The Orihuela City Council has begun work this morning to repair the sinkhole on the La Caleta beach promenade in Cabo Roig, which occurred due to the torrential rains from DANA in September 2019.

Almost three years later, and despite the fact that the amount is not a considerable sum (47,492 euros), the Infrastructure Department has launched, at the gates of summer, this action so demanded by neighbours and users. In addition, just a week ago the popular group demanded the start of this reparation, defending that in the fifteen days of government alone “we left all the administrative and economic procedures ready,” said Councilman Dámaso Aparicio.

Once the technical project has been approved, which includes the necessary geotechnical study due to the orography of the land, and the mandatory authorization of the Provincial Coastal Service, given that the works are in the traffic easement zone according to the coastal law, to build a 15-metre-long retaining wall nearby, as well as the replacement of the pedestrian promenade.

All this, in order to solve the instability of the terrain and prevent the appearance of similar problems. “These works will improve the space that has been affected and will guarantee that citizens can walk this path that gives access to La Caleta beach safely,” said the mayor of the area, Ángel Noguera, who also directed Infrastructures in the previous stage of government with the PP.

And it is that, in addition to seriously threatening the stability of one of the promenades that winds through the most touristic cape in the area, it was a danger to passers-by. Already in October 2019, near the access to this emblematic beach, a neighbour fell into the void, being retained by the bushes that grow on the embankment.

Even the two storms that shook the coast in less than a fortnight last month enlarged the sinkhole, presenting “a serious danger of landslide and collapse,” warned the Cabo Roig y Lomas Neighbourhood Association.

The authorization by the Provincial Coastal Service, which entered the City Council registry on March 1st, explained that despite the fact that the project for the works was drawn up in April 2021, the local administration did not request permission until this January 28. The same letter indicated that, although the project does not contemplate it, according to a report from the Department of Public Works, the landscaping integration of the wall in the environment with a masonry cladding of a colour similar to that of the promenade is considered opportune. with plantations in the gaps between the breakwater. “In the case of carrying out different works, the authorization would be cancelled,” he added. It also set a maximum term of one year for its execution.

The Síndic de Greuges of the Valencian Community urged the City Council in January to “adopt the measures and the personal and material means that are necessary” to promote the repair of the damage that affects the pedestrian walkway, in a response that was motivated by a Complaint from the Orihuela Costa Neighborhood Association in Action (Avoca), now the Cabo Roig and Lomas Neighborhood Association (Avcrl), for the delay in executing the repair of the sinkhole.

Already in June, the neighbourhood organisation filed a petition with the Consistory to request the repair of the infrastructure, the shoring of the slope, the placement of fencing and its signage without obtaining a response or filing the lawsuit, as occurs in so many other claims that have been made from the coast.

The mayor of Torrevieja paralyses the processing of the new urban bus service by reporting against the secretary

The local government board has decided to file the file to determine the model of the new urban transport service in Torrevieja after receiving a report from the general secretary of the plenary session against it being debated by the plenary session. It has been the secretary of the local government board and councillor Federico Alarcón (PP) who has expressly pointed out this Friday to the national authority as responsible “for the delay of a service that we wanted to start up this summer”, he assured, to add that it may not be ready until the end of the year.

“The general secretary of the plenary has issued a report indicating that part of the processing that has been carried out must be redone,” said the councilman. And he added that “at the beginning of the file” the notary was asked to report on it and replied that it was not the appropriate procedural moment. “Now that we were a little more advanced, he corrects our course and we have to redo part of what he has done,” according to the councillor. The governing board, a collegiate body chaired by Mayor Eduardo Dolón (PP), has had to annul the resolutions on this matter approved on December 17, 2021, January 8th and March 17th.

The start-up deadline for the summer cited by Alarcón was already very optimistic because it required an award procedure for a service valued at 80 million euros for ten years that had not even been tendered. And the one offered now by the councillor at the end of the year is not very realistic either. It would be quite an achievement if the municipality could launch this service during the first quarter of 2023 -already at the end of the mandate-.

Mayor Eduardo Dolón indicated that in no case was he going to take this procedure to full with a report against the general secretary, but he indicated that he does not intend to suspend other procedures related to the service, such as the award of the purchase of the new fleet of 32 buses valued at 16 million euros.

The general secretary of the plenary session, Pilar Vellisca, points out on her part that her scope of action is to report on the points that are incorporated into the plenary session. In essence, its report indicates that the municipal government has initiated procedures, such as the service ordinances, and contracting files linked to the indirect award to an urban bus company, when the plenary has not yet debated what the management model will be: directly municipalized or indirectly awarded by competition to a company in the sector. An issue that the opposition of Los Verdes and Sueña Torrevieja has warned of in recent weeks in an appeal for reconsideration of the decisions adopted by the PP government on this matter and that both formations made public a few days ago.

The same source indicates that in municipalities such as Torrevieja, contracting is the responsibility of the local government board and the secretary has no role in this matter. She points out that she corresponds to the general director who instructs the contract; to the Director General of Procurement who makes a first report; to the general director of the Legal Department, who must report on the competent body to resolve the management method and on the material content of the file, and to the technician of the support body of the local government board, who helps to draw up the order of the day of this collegiate body to the mayor. The notary wonders if all those reports are correct, what is the reason that they pay attention to the secretary who only reports on plenary matters. She recalls that the procedure to create a public company in the City Council was also filed for the same reason: not having previously reached an agreement in plenary session.

The mayor had clearly expressed that the local government opts for indirect management based on the reports of a commission of technical advisers and an external engineer hired by the City Council that indicate that the most economical and efficient provision would be that awarded to a company against the municipality. And he has also publicly explained that he has started these procedures, such as the acquisition of the fleet of 32 new buses for 16 million euros to win and that when the decision is adopted by the full tender, award and start up the service.

The new urban bus service contemplates an approximate annual investment of 8 million euros with the management of a company in the transport sector, the acquisition of the new fleet -which would be paid by the City Council, not the winning company-, an increase in frequencies and a significant reduction in waiting times, the extension of the service to 9 lines in addition to three owl lines in summer and payment for the service -now free for those registered-.

Three bathers rescued on the beach in the centre of Guardamar del Segura

Agents of the Local Police and the Civil Guard have assisted this Thursday afternoon three bathers who were at risk on the Centro beach, in the urban environment, of Guardamar del Segura. The troops, who received the notice at 5:55 p.m., immediately moved to the scene.

One of them knelt next to the body of a woman who was on the shore, after having gone into the sea to help her young son out without success, and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres, getting her to expel the water she had in the respiratory tract and managing to keep her alive until the arrival of the health services.

The other agent, without thinking, went into the water to catch up with a man who had jumped to help them but was also swept away by the waves. Although he was holding on to a lifesaver float, he was exhausted and with his head submerged, dragged by the current that prevented him from getting out. After several attempts, they managed to get him to the shore in a conscious state, although stunned.

According to the witnesses’ account, the woman’s young son was bathing and the waves began to drag him out to sea. She waded into the water to get him out and was swept away as well. At that moment, a group of young people who were watching the scene came to her aid, one of them being trapped by the tide.

The Emergency Information and Coordination Centre (CICU), which received the notice at 6:00 p.m., sent a SAMU unit and another Basic Life Support unit. The medical team assisted the two bathers, who presented with symptoms of drowning.

The bathers are a 24-year-old man, of Moroccan nationality, and a 36-year-old Ukrainian woman, who had to be transferred to the University Hospital of Torrevieja for her stabilisation. She is still hospitalised, although she does not fear for her life. The boy, who was transferred to the hospital with his mother, has been discharged in good health.

“Fortunately, the immediate notice given by the witnesses and the prompt response of the Security and Emergency Corps allowed the situation to be successfully resolved,” the Civil Guard concluded in a statement.

The Mayor of Guardamar del Segura, José Luis Sáez, congratulated the Local Police officers for their “rapid, effective and courageous response to the drowning situation experienced by different bathers”, as well as “all the Security Bodies, health workers and the Red Cross for looking after our well-being”. In addition, he has indicated that “a similar action has been repeated today on the beach of La Roqueta, with the transfer to hospital of another person with symptoms of drowning.” For this reason, he has asked for “maximum caution”, since “the sea is swollen and with strong and dangerous currents”.

Alicante and Elche without appointments to renew the DNI and passport and two months wait in the rest of the province

The holidays are just around the corner and there are many who now, at the gates of a well-deserved rest and after two years without being able to travel without restrictions due to the pandemic, are looking for a flight and, surprise!: their ID or passport are expired. The usual thing is that many citizens remember that their card has expired just when it is time for the holidays or they need it to carry out a procedure, such as going to the notary’s office. The problem is getting an appointment to renew the documents. The eight dispatch offices in the province are collapsed. In some there are no appointments until mid-July and in the case of Alicante and Elche you can’t even apply because there are no available times.

This year the desire to travel after two years with restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, has made many remember the necessary documents to do so, the DNI or the passport, and they are finding that they were expired, which is causing a wave of requests that has overwhelmed all expectations and the system. Getting a free slot a few days away is almost a “miracle”. In addition, there is also an avalanche of requests to renew the passport, or to do it for the first time, from students who want to continue their studies in the United Kingdom and for whom their DNI is no longer valid as they have left the country the European Union after Brexit. In addition, another of the causes of the delay in renewing the DNI is that there are people who do not come and do not cancel the appointments.

Thus, the renewal of these documents is currently becoming an odyssey because finding a space available on the website enabled by the National Police Corps for prior appointment (www.citapreviadnie.es), mandatory for face-to-face attention, is impossible if you do not we want to wait a minimum of two months. The DNI and the passport can be renewed at any issuing office in the country, it is not necessary to do so at the nearest one. But all those in the province are saturated, as indicated by the system itself.

This Thursday, in the police stations of Alicante and Elche it was not possible to make an appointment for the DNI, although on Friday morning one could be obtained in May during odd hours in the Alicante capital. Appointments that sell out quickly. In the case of Alicante, it is also not possible to obtain a new passport. When trying at any of these issuance offices, a sign warns us that “at this time this documentation unit does not have appointments available” so it advises us to try it “later” or to select another police station where that document is issued. Thus, the citizen only has to arm himself with patience and stay all day “refreshing” the web in the hope that there will be some free time available in the event that another who had an appointment cancels it. Or travel several kilometres, sometimes dozens, to other dispatch points, although we have already warned that if what you want is an immediate procedure, forget about it, because in the rest of the dispatch offices in the province you have to wait two months, until July, to be able to renew the identity card or the passport.

Thus, the expedition unit where a new DNI can be obtained before is that of Dénia, where this Thursday the first appointment that could be obtained was on July 5. In Alcoy you have to wait one more day, July 6, while in Benidorm you can find a hole on July 8. We have to wait much longer to renew the document in Torrevieja, where it is not possible to do it before July 18th, while in Orihuela and Elda they will not have the luck of getting an appointment until July 21st.

Better luck will not have those who need to renew their passport. In Alicante, there are no direct appointments available, and the closest appointment to obtain the document that allows us to travel to a country outside the European Union is June 14th in Benidorm. In June also, but on the 21st, we can go to Orihuela or Alcoy, while if we are closer to the police stations of Torrevieja, Dénia or Elda they will give us an appointment for between July 5th and 7th. In Elche we will not be able to find an available schedule until July 13th.

However, in neighbouring provinces, the wait to renew the documents is not as long. Thus, in Murcia you can get an appointment for less than two weeks, for June 2, as in Cartagena. In Albacete the situation is better than in the province of Alicante, and you can find some time available for June 9. In the province of Valencia, the minimum wait is one of the best, and even so, in the Valencian capital, the national identity document cannot be renewed, even if it has expired, until July 7th. Although those who live near Gandía can renew their documents this month, with appointments from May 24th, or in Ontinyent on June 8th.

According to sources consulted by this newspaper, some of the offices that issue the National Identity Document make a limited number of appointments weekly that they make available to citizens on the web. This is the case of Elche, where on Mondays, starting at 2:00 p.m., close appointments are set up that are reserved so as not to run out of all of them for months. Of course, there are only a few and they run out in a few hours, sometimes in minutes.

This avalanche of requests that has saturated the system has made the Ministry of the Interior react. Union sources have explained that a shock plan is going to be carried out to reinforce the service for issuing IDs and passports in the main police stations. Thus, a large number of Police officers will be incorporated into the morning and afternoon shifts, including on Saturdays, to meet the wide demand for document renewals. These same sources explain that every year, when the summer dates approach, they find themselves with this same problem, although in this case all forecasts have been overwhelmed. However, it is expected to palliate with this reinforcement of personnel in the dispatch offices of the province.

The provincial spokesman for the Jupol union, David García, considers that the reinforcement of police officers in the dispatch offices will be enough to alleviate the wide demand for renovations. However, it calls for a similar shock plan to be carried out at the Alicante Central Guard Inspection (ICG) and at the province’s Complaints Office (ODAC) procedures, which are overwhelmed almost daily “as they are a very touristy area. “In Alicante, above all, the workload is brutal,” warns García, who asks that the necessary reinforcement be carried out.

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