Government acting through MEPA is playing to the interests of property developers and speculators. This was stated by a group of environmental NGOs who decided to act together in voicing their concern. The eNGOs are Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Birdlife Malta, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffiti, Greenhouse Malta, Malta Organic Agricutural Movement, Nature Trust Malta and Ramblers’ Association.
There is nothing new in stating that government is in cahoots with property developers and speculatiors. The new element is that it is much more obvious that it ever was. MEPA in fact is functioning worse than it ever did in its 21 year history.
And we have seen nothing yet. It will get worse .
The recent approval of the redevelopment of the Mistra Village site is a case in point. In addition to its being a blot on the landscape the approved project consisting of 774 residential units [yes its seven hundred and seventy four] as well as 1,800 square metres of retail area [including a supermarket] spread in 6 rectangual blocks of various heights up to and including 13 floors. The traffic load on an area already bursting at the seams will be enormous.
In fact, Transport Malta had initially objected to the project as it was considered that the situation would inevitably develop from bad to worse.
Transport Malta has however had second thoughts and withdrew its objections. FAA is on record as commenting that “In dropping its objection, Transport Malta insults local residents by claiming that the traffic situation is already so bad that adding heavy construction vehicles and another 1,500 cars to the area will not make a difference.”
This signifies that Transport Malta will now go back to its archives and reconsider the development of the TEN-T road network in the area. All the options have already been discussed and all of them will create even more probelms. One proposal signifies cutting through the Miżieb aquifer. Other proposals pose serious threats to Manikata, the agricultural community in L-Imbordin as well as being a threat to the Simar Nature Reserve.
This is what MEPA’s decisions are leading to. It will get worse soon.
Having nine NGOs voicing their concern together on the above and more is a good step. Their protest in Valletta’s streets on the 30th November 2013 deserves everyone’s support.
I will be there.