Moviment Graffitti, Friends of the Earth Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Ħaż-Żebbuġ local councillor Steve Zammit Lupi and environmentalist Arnold Cassola, have joined forces to file a legal action calling upon the ERA to uphold the law and environmental regulations, and remedy the environmental damage done to Wied Qirda.
In a joint press statement, the NGOs, Ħaż-Żebbuġ Local Councillor and environmentalists stated that Wied Qirda has been mutilated mercilessly as a result of unauthorised works being carried out in this protected valley by Infrastructure Malta. The country path has been tarmacked over and widened, the topography of the valley bed has been altered, whilst a large structure is being built over the valley bed.
They also explained how the physical characteristics of the valley have been changed and this has been done without any authorisation from ERA.
“It is barbaric for a government agency to bulldoze a special area of conservation without any regard for the law whatsoever”, they added.
The petitioners are demanding ERA to establish who is directly responsible for ordering and authorising the ‘barbaric actions’ in Wied Qirda.
They also stated that: “It would be adding insult to injury to have Infrastructure Malta pay to remedy the environmental damage when Infrastructure Malta is paid for by the taxpayer”. The press statement explains if that will be the case the taxpayer would first have financed the illegal works and then pay for the removal of the works done illegally by Infrastructure Malta. “The taxpayers should not end up paying for the CEO Frederick Azzopardi’s and Infrastructure Malta’s mess”.
On the other hand, ERA and Infrastructure Malta published a joint press release stating that the ERA is closely following the works underway by Infrastructure Malta in Wied Qirda to remedy the damages and Infrastructure Malta confirmed it is collaborating with the Authority in every stage. Infrastructure Malta clarified that the works being carried out in recent months were needed because new road structures had to be built due to certain damages.
In conclusion to the press statement the ERA said that once all works are concluded, it will continue monitoring Wied Qirda to assure that Infrastructure Malta did all the works as necessary without damaging the valley.