Moviment Graffitti is deeply concerned about the ongoing works carried out in Wied Qirda under the orders of Infrastructure Malta over the last two weeks of December, at the height of the holiday season. The works in question involve the construction of a bridge in a protected area for which no permit has been obtained.
This has been going on despite the fact that the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) issued a Stop and Compliance Order for Wied Qirda 50 days ago. The very same authority had already stopped Infrastructure Malte from carrying on with the roadworks which include 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.
Wied Qirda is listed as a special area of conservation which deserves protection, as set out in the laws of Malta, and no development may take place in it without the authorisation of the Environment and Resources Authority under the Environment Protection Act. 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. 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.
This concrete bridge, approximately 9 metres wide, is being constructed to facilitate access between one side of the valley and the other for the benefit of lawyer, architect, and 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?
One is bound to ask why over the past 50 days the Planning Authority has failed to take any action with regards to this development and why Infrastructure Malta has chosen not to cooperate with ERA and has carried on with this flagrant abuse in broad daylight.