Staff Reporter
THE Town Council of Soller asked the leader of the Balearic government and the regional Environment ministry yesterday, to call an immediate halt to the excavation works being carried out by a British company along an 800-metre strip on the bottom of the bay of Soller Port.

The project, which aims to lay a pipeline to carry water from La Costera to Palma, has brought forth an avalanche of complaints, and a worrying drop in the number of tourists who stay in hotels and apartments along the coastal area of the town.

Heeding the demands and uneasiness of chief tourist industry representatives in the area, the mayor, Carlos Simarro; the Tourist deputy, Bartomeu Pomar; and Environment councillor, María José Serra, met urgently at the end of last week with the tourist sector's leading figures.

Simarro was asked that he approach the government at once to have the excavation work stopped because it was causing serious damage to the locality's economic interests. Such works, claimed the tourist industry representatives, should be undertaken “out of season”.

The Council leaders agreed to the demands and arranged to speak with the Balearic government yesterday to seek a rescheduling of the works being carried out in the Port.

Some of the hoteliers, speaking at a personal level, said they were prepared “that very day” to bring in measures to force the boat to stop its excavation because it was polluting the bay right at the very beginning of the tourist season.

Bartomeu Pomar shared the hoteliers view. “We are talking about our economic interests and public image against that of the private company carrying out the engineering work. It is clearly more advantageous to the excavation company to do the works now.

As a result of Soller's appeal to the regional government, Environment minister Jaume Font promised yesterday that the works would be finished by the end of this week, thanks to efforts that have been made to work “round the clock” whilst causing the least possible disturbance to residents in the area.

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