January 22, 2021

The meeting between Almeida and the mayor of Rivas concludes without solutions for the three-month blackout in Cañada Real


If this Monday the residents of the Cañada Real had a hope of finally seeing the light after three months of blackout, expectations have deflated again a day later. Naturgy cut 12 illegal electricity hookups yesterday afternoon, suspected of having industrial use, pushed by the Rivas-Vaciamadrid City Council, which identified these points in sector five. The Ripense Consistory, led by Pedro del Cura (IU), had the intention of raising this idea to the Madrid City Council, so that it can be replicated in sector six of the settlement. But the meeting has not resulted in a solution: both corporations have been summoned to ask the Community of Madrid and the Government Delegation to promote the relocation processes. These are slow actions that do not represent an immediate solution for the 4,500 residents who have been without electricity for 90 days and who these days endure unprecedentedly freezing temperatures without methods to warm up properly.

Naturgy cuts off suspicious hookups in Cañada Real but does not guarantee the return of supply

Naturgy cuts off suspicious hookups in Cañada Real but does not guarantee the return of supply

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The Community of Madrid has immediately responded to the call with a timid proposal that does not return electricity to the settlement either: promote the signing of a new agreement to buy between 20 and 25 homes. These houses, once the acquisition process is completed, would provide a solution for 0.5% of the population that is without electricity right now. The Department of Housing and Local Administration defends that thus “progress continues in the relocation and elimination of shanty towns”, reports Europa Press. All these matters are settled at the Table of the Pact for the Cañada Real Galiana, in which the regional government, three city councils (Madrid, Rivas, Coslada) and the Government Delegation are involved.

In the note sent by the Rivas City Council, the corporation assures that Madrid shares with Rivas that now the “urgency” is to return the light. However, the Madrid City Council continues not to offer exits, beyond providing specific emergency solutions to some people. His plan to strike against the snow to set up an emergency shelter in the old furniture factory where NGOs operate for 400 people was not well received by the neighbors. Only one family agreed to move there. That single family was finally transferred to the Family Support Center on Hermanos Álvarez Quintero street, confirmed the deputy mayor, Begoña Villacís. The neighborhood associations of the settlement, such as Al Shorok or Tabadol, did not accept the transfers, arguing that the solution should be to have the electricity back.

The Consistory led by José Luis Martínez-Almeida rules out for the moment promoting that the electricity be cut to homes with very high consumption, which have been linked to the cultivation of marijuana and could be causing the overload. The City Council declares itself incapable of doing this work that the Rivas City Council has done. So far with little result. Naturgy acted on Monday on 12 points and the light was only reestablished momentarily. Rivas wants to continue deepening this path to try to return electricity to sector five by cutting excessive consumption.

To give an idea of ​​the slowness of relocations, just go to the numbers. In January 2021, the agreement signed in 2018 between the Madrid City Council and the Community to relocate 150 families has not yet been fulfilled. 130 has been assigned a new home, according to the data provided by the Consistory. The remaining 20 are those that the regional government proposes to manage now, three years later.

Pushed by the snowstorm and the very low temperatures these days, the authorities have begun to act in the settlement with patches to prevent families from ending up frozen. The Community of Madrid distributed 100 bottles and 120 stoves in an emergency this Monday.

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