One year later: Sewage, dust and noise in Ħal Balzan

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Residents were told that works in Valley Road Ħal Balzan was meant to be completed in September 2018, but one year later, residents are still facing the drainage, dust, and noise.

One of those people affected by the on-going situation is Dr. Antoine Vella. He described the daily reality of living through this during an interview with Fr. Joe Borg on The Newsbook Hour program on 103.

Vella said there is a 30-metre-long ditch where a pond has formed with drainage with a pungent smell.

‘Raw sewage. You can smell it. It must’ve been there for three weeks for sure,’ Vella said, adding that the workers are working among the sewage in heat, without protective clothing necessary. He said that while residents can shelter, workers are exposed to it.

Vella recalled how the work started in June last year. There are still currently a number of unusable garages and limited access for wheelchair users. According to Vella, the authorities haven’t indicated when the road will fixed and re-paved. He added the authorities aren’t informing the local council is informing them.

What did shop owners say?

Newsbook.com.mt went to Valley Road in mid-September to talk with some local shop owners. Nobody wanted to appear on camera or be quoted by name by journalists.

A number of them said that the work being carried out is affecting their sales. There is a problem of access and parking for their customers. The dust from the road is entering the stores and that means they need to be cleaned more frequently. A person working in the area said that after the works started, two stores closed down, but could not confirm if that was specifically because of the works.

Those spoken to by Newsbook.com.mt were not aware of the progress of the works and when they would be completed.