Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Enforcement notices were removed and Infrastructure Malta has continued with its works in Wied Qirda, despite being slapped with an enforcement notice by the environmental watchdog, NGO Moviment Graffitti pointed out.
In a statement on Friday, Moviment Graffitti voiced its concern about the ongoing works in the valley. The works involving the construction of a bridge in a protected area for which no permit has been sought continued during the holiday season. The Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) had issued a Stop and Compliance Order for Wied Qirda 50 days ago.
Infrastructure Malta was already stopped from asphalting, widening of the paths and laying down the foundations for the bridge.
“The enforcement notices were not only ignored, but also removed, and the works carried on as if nothing had happened,” Moviment Graffitti observed.
The NGO claimed that the 9 metres-wide bridge was being constructed to facilitate access between one side of the valley and the other for the benefit of government consultant Robert Musumeci.
“The bridge will replace the concrete dam, which was also constructed illegally almost 20 years ago. If these works are being carried out to rectify past abuses, why are they not being carried out in cooperation with the environmental authority as required by law?” Moviment Graffitti asked.
The NGO pointed out that the valley is listed as a special area of conservation which deserves protection. “No development may take place in it without the authorisation of the Environment and Resources Authority under the Environment Protection Act,” it reminded.
“The person to blame for all this is none other than Engineer Frederick Azzopardi, the right-hand man of Minister Ian Borg. Azzopardi feels entitled to place himself above the law, as is often shown by his arrogance and contempt for the law,” Moviment Graffitti said.
“As head of Infrastructure Malta, he is well known for being at the helm of projects carried out despite no permit being obtained, including the widening of Tal-Balal Road. Not surprisingly, yet again he seems to find nothing wrong with charging through the valley, without any concern for the people of Żebbuġ, in a similar fashion like one of his monstrous machines,” the NGO added.
“I’m agree with the removal of the concrete dam, but…” – Steve Zammit Lupi
Independent local councillor Steve Zammit Lupi said that while the illegal concrete dam should be removed, a development application was never filed with the Planning Authority and ERA to cover the current works. He stated that the construction of the bridge was never given the go ahead from a competent authority.
The local councillor stated that no one was informed on the works, since there was no application or the publishing of development plans.