Il-pompa tal-akkwarju tal-Ajruport

 

Nafu li l-egħluq temporanju tal-ajruport iktar kmieni din il-ġimgħa seħħ minħabba nirien li żviluppaw ħtija tal-pompa tal-akkwarju fit-terminal tal-arrivals tal-Ajruport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta.

Inċident sfortunat, probabbilment, imma ma jagħtix messaġġ tajjeb tas-serjetà meħtieġa. Għax ngħiduha kif inhi, mhux tajjeb li l-ajruport ikun magħluq għal dawn ir-raġunijiet.

L-istess kien ġara xi żmien ilu meta bħala riżultat ta’ ħsarat fil-power station kien mar l-elettriku: imma l-generators standby ma kienux ħadmu. Dakinnhar ukoll kien għalaq l-ajruport. Imma ħadd ma qalilna xejn iktar!

Dawn l-affarijiet huwa importanti li jkunu indirizzati bis-serjetà. Daqs il-€100 miljun tal-Masterplan. Għax x’jiswa li tkabbar jekk fl-istess ħin tagħti messaġġi ċari ta’ nuqqas ta’ serjetà.

Basta bil-pompa u t-tejatrin.

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Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor

 laudato_si_    Cry of the Earth

 

This is the title of Leonardo Boff’s seminal work on the inextricable link between social justice and environmental degradation, originally published in 1995.  Earlier, during the 1972 UN Human Environment Conference in Stockholm, it was also the rallying cry of India’s Prime Minister  Indira Gandhi who, on behalf of the developing world, forcefully insisted that poverty was inextricably linked with environmental degradation.  In Stockholm Mrs Gandhi had emphasised that “the environment cannot be improved in conditions of poverty  –  how can we speak to those who live in villages and slums about keeping the oceans, the rivers and the air clean, when their own lives are contaminated at the source?”

This is also the underlying theme of the encyclical Laudato Sì published by Pope Francis last June. It is not just a seasonal Latin American flavour at Vatican City.  The earth’s tears are continuously manifested in different ways depending on the manner in which she is maltreated .

Environmental degradation has a considerable impact on the quality of life of  us all except, that is, for the quality of life of  the select few who pocket the profits by appropriating for themselves advantages (economic or otherwise) and lumping the negative impacts on the rest.

Environmental degradation is an instrument of social injustice. Consequently, enhancing the protection of the environment is also essential to restore social justice.

The water table is subject to continuous daylight robbery: over the years it has been depleted by both authorised and unauthorised water extraction.  What is left is contaminated as a result of the impact of fertilisers as well as surface water runoff from the animal husbandry industry. Theft and acute mismanagement  are the tools used in the creation of this injustice.

The Malta Freeport has been quite successful over the years in contributing to economic growth and job creation. The price for this has, however, been paid by Birżebbuġa residents – primarily through being subjected to continuous noise pollution on a 24/7 basis. Various residential units in the area closest to the Freeport Terminal are vacant and have been so for a considerable time. A noise report commissioned as a result of the conditions of the Terminal’s environmental permit will be concluded shortly. Hopefully, the implementation of its conclusions will start the reversal of the Freeport’s negative impacts on its neighbours.

The Freeport, together with various fuel storage outlets, the Delimara Power Station (including the floating gas storage facility which will soon be a permanent feature) as well as fish-farms have together definitely converted Marsaxlokk Bay into an industrial port. As a result of various incidents during 2015, spills in Marsaxlokk Bay signify that Pretty Bay risks losing its title permanently.   Fortunately, Birżebbuġa residents have been spared additional impact originating from minor ship and oil-rig repairs after they reacted vociferously to a decision by the MEPA Board to permit such work at the Freeport Terminal.

Public Transport has made minor improvements but nowhere near what is required. It is essential that Malta’s congested roads are mopped up of the excessive number of cars. Improving the road infrastructure will just make it easier for more cars to roam about in our roads, thereby increasing the scale of the problem.  The major consequences are a reduced ease of access and the deterioration air quality.

We will soon be in a position to assess the impact of two other major projects: a business hub at the Malta International Airport as well as a car-racing track with various ancillary facilities. The former will take up land at the airport carpark but will have considerable impact on the surrounding villages. The car-racing track may take up as much as 110 hectares of land outside the development zone and have a considerable impact on both nature and local residents in the areas close to where it will be developed.

The list of environmental impacts that we have to endure is endless.

I could also have included the impact of the Malta Drydocks and the consequent squeezing out of residents from the Three Cities as a result of its operations, primarily as a result of sandblasting, in the 1970s and 1980s. I could also have added the impact of the waste recycling plant at Marsaskala and the refusal of the authorities to finance studies on the impact of its operations on the health of residents, or else the impact of the operation of petrol stations close to and within various residential areas.

The size of the Maltese islands is limited. A number of the abovementioned  activities/developments  are essential, but others are not. However, it stands to reason that we should not bear the brunt of non-essential activities or developments. This should lead us to plan more carefully so that  the impacts of the activities that are essential are adequately addressed.

As evidenced by the above list, unfortunately over the years those taking decisions betrayed their responsibilities towards the common good, seeking, instead the interests of the select few thereby compounding social injustices.

This is Malta’s contribution to the accumulated tears of Mother Earth.

 

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 10 January 2016

The airport and its neighbours

3D aerial view of scheme.MIA 2015

 

Earlier this week, the management of Malta’s International Airport announced a €78 million investment programme, aimed at enlarging the terminal buildings, improving and upgrading existing facilities for the handling of passengers and  further developing a business hub.

The airport terminal at Gudja is Malta’s only such facility and so, to a certain extent, the further development of the existing capacity to handle the arrival and departure of passengers is essential. And yet, due to the limitations of size, the proximity of Gudja’s airport to the surrounding villages of Luqa, Gudja, Kirkop and Safi has to be borne in mind. Size limitations signify that even essential works will have an impact on the surrounding communities and thus have to be thought out carefully.

Its been over five years since MEPA has received a planning application for the consideration of an updated master-plan for Malta International Airport. PA5548/10 was submitted in November 2010. A previous version of the master-plan was approved in 1997 (PA5681/96) while another version, submitted in 2003 (PA5306/03), was withdrawn.

The latest proposed master-plan currently under consideration by MEPA includes provision for the enlargement of the terminal building to include additional facilities to handle passenger traffic as well as the construction of five new buildings for a range of commercial and leisure activities.

The proposed masterplan and the environmental planning statement (EPS) published late in 2014 for public consultation focus on the proposed business hub and emphasise that the well-established trend for international airports is to expand to “include ancillary business and retail facilities.”

The masterplan was fed by two studies commissioned by the Malta International Airport. The first – carried out by Locum Consulting – studied the office market in Malta and apparently concluded that the “high quality office stock supply” is limited in comparison to the existing demand.  An audit of the proposed masterplan was also carried out by Eriksson + Partner GmbH.

The EPS contains selective quotes from these two reports, but the reports themselves have not been made public. Both MEPA and MIA have resisted requests to publish these reports as they consider that they are commercial reports and do not contain information on environmental impact.

Malta’s only airport has its requirements. In particular, it needs to cater for the increasing number of passengers it handles. This year, the number of passengers handled has recently surpassed the 4.5 million mark. It will undoubtedly continue to rise and it stands to reason that the passenger-handling facilties, currently bursting at the seams, need to be upgraded.

What number of passengers is being planned for? What are the forecasts ? This information is not available as part of the documentation which has been published to date.

The inevitable increase in the number of passengers to be handled by MIA will have an impact on the surrounding area. The traffic generated, and the  emissions associated with this, will further deteriorate the air quality in the main roads leading to Gudja. There will also be an increase in noise pollution.

The Environment Planning Statement identified the Ħal-Farruġ Road/Qormi Road roundabout at Luqa as requiring upgrading  as a result of long-term traffic projections made. It did not, however, identify any other major traffic impact on the villages surrounding the airport. In particular, the EPS did not consider it relevant to consider that already, at this point in time, the residential area of Gudja – less than 50 metres away from the boundary of the airport carpark –  is being used by airport employees and passengers as an additional carpark, thereby creating an unnecessary burden on Gudja itself.

The current burden for the airport’s core functions, and the first phase of the Skyparks project, are primarily being borne by the communities of Luqa, Gudja, Kirkop and Safi.

Additional impact due to an increase in the airport’s core functions is unavoidable. But making matters worse through further development of the airport as a business hub is verging on sadistic. Gudja’s airport should not be compared to major airports when determining long-term functions, but rather to regional airports.

Given Malta’s size, practically all facilities are available within a 15-minute drive from the airport. It would hence make sense for the airport’s management to realise that the airport’s corporate social responsibility should not be limited to funding some restoration projects. It is about time that it focused on the fact that human beings reside in the surrounding villages. The airport’s contribution to Malta’s economic performance is welcome but this should not be at the expense of the quality of life of the surrounding communities.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday, 27 December 2015

X’inhu ġej fl-ajruport tal-Gudja fl-2016?

MIA project 2016

Il-bieraħ tħabbar “investiment” fl-ajruport tal-Gudja. Qed jintqal li ser isir investiment ta’ €78 miljun fil-ħames snin li ġejjin biex jitkabbar it-terminal, jinbena blokk ieħor ta’ uffiċini għall-kiri (Skyparks2), lukanda kif ukoll żieda fiż-żona ta’ parkeġġ.

Is-sena l-oħra kellna l-Masterplan tal-airport fl-aħbarijiet li fih kien hemm proposti iktar estensivi. Il-proposti dakinnhar kienu jinkludu ukoll supermarket. Dan is-supermarket ma ssemmiex il-bieraħ imma fir-ritratti ippubblikati xorta jidher!

Ħadd ma jiddubita li t-terminal tal-ajruport qed isir żgħir. Issa ilu użat 24 sena u bil-kwantità ta’ nies li ġejjin u sejrin minn Malta jidher li wasal iż-żmien li jikber.

Imma tajjeb li jkun hemm iktar informazzjoni dwar dak li hu ippjanat għat-terminal: x’inhuma l-miri dwar il-kapaċità tiegħu? X’effett ser ikollu dan fuq iż-żoni residenzjali tal-madwar, b’mod partikolari fuq it-toroq?

Huwa ippjanat li l-airport jintuża ukoll bil-lejl? Kif hu mistenni li dan kollu jeffettwa lil dawk iż-żoni residenzjali li minn fuqhom jitilgħu jew jinżlu l-ajruplani?

Intqal li hu mistenni li jkun hemm deċiżjoni dwar l-applikazzjonijiet neċessarji matul l-2016, u allura dawn jidhru li ser ikunu uħud mill-issues prinċipali quddiem l-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar il-ġdida, s-sena d-dieħla.

ara ukoll fuq dan il-blog:  L-irħula madwar l-ajruport ta’ Malta.

Fejn kont, meta nbniet il-Belt Valletta ?

La Valette

 

Eħe, fejn kont meta 450 sena ilu l-Gran Mastru La Valette ħolom li jibni l-Belt fuq l-għolja Xiber-ras?

Jiena ma kontx hawn. Kieku kont, probabbilment bħal bosta oħrajn, kien imissni l-istess xorti ta’ dawk li kienu meqjusa li jipprotestaw wisq! La Valette ma kienx jittollera l-kritika!

Nagħmlu żball oħxon nippruvaw niġġudikaw illum deċiżjonijiet li ittieħdu l-bieraħ imma imbagħad nagħmlu dan bil-kriterji tal-lum. Kieku kellha issir il-proposta biex tinbena illum, hemm ċans tajjeb li l-Belt Valletta ma kienitx tinbena. Imma fiż-żmien li nbniet kien jagħmel sens għad-difiża tal-pajjiż. La Valette qabad u iddeċieda. La għamel EIA u l-anqas talab permess ta’ ħadd!

L-istess nistgħu ngħidu, per eżempju għall-Port Ħieles. Kieku l-idea kellha tfaqqas illum bla dubju li l-Port Ħieles kien jinbena differenti, ħafna iktar il-bogħod mir-residenzi ta’ Birżebbuġa. Imma meta l-Gvern fl-1962 beda jesproprija l-art biex eventwalment inbena l-Port Ħieles, il-ħsieb kien differenti. Anke l-ideat ta’ ħarsien ambjentali dakinnhar kienu għadhom ftit primittivi, jekk kienu jeżistu.

Aħna qegħdin hawn illum u kull wieħed minna għandu l-obbligu li jiftaħ ħalqu illum.

Tul is-snin li għaddew ikkritikajna d-deċiżjonijiet żbaljati li għamlu ħsara ambjentali kbira. Waħda wara l-oħra.

Bħalissa fuq l-aġenda hemm iċ-ċirkwit propost għat-tlielaq tal-karozzi.

Diġa ktibt dwar dan is-suġġett diversi drabi wara li giet ippubblikata t-talba għal espressjoni ta’ interess dwar iċ-ċirkwit. Issa nistennew il-proposti li jridu jkunu sottomessi sal-20 ta’ Jannar 2016.

Mhux nistenna proposta li jkollna l-karozzi jtellqu fit-toroq ewlenin tal-pajjiż bħalma jiġri f’Monaco! L-indikazzjonijiet dejjem kienu dwar artijiet sostanzjali fl-inħawi ta’ Ħal-Far li fuqhom ikun propost li jiġi żviluppat iċ-ċirkwit. L-istorbju, qed jintqal, “mhux problema” għax diġa hemm storbju mhux żgħir f’kull ħin tal-ġurnata mill-ajruplani neżlin lejn, jew tiela’ mill-ajruport ta’ Ħal-Luqa. Storbju li “ndara” mir-residenti fl-inħawi tul is-snin. Ftit iżda jintqal li anke jekk l-istorbju jindara xorta jagħmel il-ħsara lis-saħħa tan-nies.

Diġa fil-preżent ikun hemm numru ta’ karozzi fl-inħawi fejn min isuqhom ikun qed jipprattika d-delizzju tiegħu billi jtellaq. Xejn ma hi esperjenza pjaċevoli għar-residenti fl-inħawi li issa jridu jiddeċiedu jekk jibqgħux jissaportu inkella jekk iridux isemmgħu leħinhom.

Nistennew u naraw.

L-irħula madwar l-ajruport ta’ Malta

ipp

Il-Malta Today illum irrappurtat dwar l-iżvilupp propost fl-Airport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta.

Hemm applikazzjoni pendenti għal Masterplan li tinkludi diversi binjiet.

L-impatti ikkawżati minn dan l-iżvilupp ser ikun sostanzjali fuq il-komunitajiet madwar l-Airport u ċjoe fuq l-irħula ta’ Ħal-Luqa, l-Gudja, Ħal Kirkop u Ħal-Safi.

L-iżvilupp propost ser jiġġenera ħafna iktar traffiku fid-direzzjoni tal-ajruport u per konsegwenza iktar tniġġiż tal-arja.

L-airport ta’ Malta hu airport ta’ pajjiż żgħir, daqs wieħed reġjonali fil-kontinent Ewropew,  u ma jagħmilx sens li jkun fih facilitajiet bħall-ajruporti l-kbar tad-dinja. Il-facilitajiet provduti għandhom ikunu kompatibbli mad-daqs żgħir tal-pajjiż. Għandhom ukoll jieħdu in konsiderazzjoni li tefa ta’ ġebla l-bogħod hemm erbat irħula li fihom hemm diversi negożji żgħar. Kif ser jiġu effettwati dawn in-negozji żgħar? Din mhix biss materja ta’ kompetittivita’, imma fuq kollox hi materja ta’ infrastruttura ekonomika u soċjali fl-irħula tagħna li bi proġetti bħal dawn ser titmermer b’rata aċċellerata.

Fil-ġranet li ġejjin jagħlaq iż-żmien ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika dwar ir-rapport li jikkonsidra l-impatt ambjentali. Imbagħad ikollna ċans li niddiskutu dan il-proġett f’iktar dettall.

L-ibliet u l-irħula tagħna għandhom bżonn inkoraġġiment biex isaħħu l-infrastruttura ekonomika u soċjali. L-iżvilupp veru ma jkissirhomx iżda jagħihom is-saħħa.

 

Malta fid-dlam: Konrad u Zammit Lewis fejnhom?

where is Konrad

Wara li fil-lejl ta’ bejn it-Tlieta 12 u l-Erbgħa 13 ta’ Awwissu ma kellniex elettriku, uħud għal ħin qasir u oħrajn għal ħin itwal huwa tajjeb li nitkellmu bil-kalma dwar dak li ġara.

L-uffiċjali tal-Korporazzjoni Enemalta tkellmu mal-istampa u qalu li s’issa ma jirriżultax li l-ħsara  kienet b’xi mod konsegwenza ta’ xi ħaġa li għamlet il-Korporazzjoni jew l-impjegati tagħha.

Nistennew mela ħalli naraw kif seħħ l-inċident.

Ovvjament l-inċident hu assoċjat ma difett li irriżulta fil-cables deħlin fid-Distribution Centre tal-Marsa.  Il-bieraħ rajt xi ritratti interessanti online dwar dawn il-cables imma illum dawn donnhom għosfru. Ma nistax insibhom. Bħalma l-anqas ma nista’ nsib kummenti interessantissimi dwar dawn ir-ritratti li taw spjegazzjoni li tista’ tagħmel ħafna sens dwar x’seta’ wassal għall-inċident.

Min jaf forsi jerġgħu jitfaċċaw dawn l-imberkin ritratti.

Inċident dejjem jista’ jiġri lil kulħadd. Minnu tipprova titgħallem. Ankè jekk f’xi ħin jirriżulta illi sar xi żball oħxon x’imkien.

X’tgħallimna?

L-iktar lezzjoni ovvja li suppost nitgħallmu darba għal dejjem hi li m’aħniex ippreparati. Mhux biss il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta li damet ħafna ma ipprovdiet l-elettriku mill-ġdid lil kull min kien jeħtieġu għal kważi 24 siegħa teħtieġ titgħallem, imma ukoll l-Ajruport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta (MIA).

Il-ħtija tal-MIA hi kbira u l-effetti fuq it-turiżmu huma kbar ukoll. Il-bieraħ wara nofsinnhar l-MIA għamlet apoloġija pubblika u wegħdet li ma terġax. Dan mhux biżżejjed. Avolja l-MIA illum il-ġurnata hi f’idejn is-settur privat xorta għandha l-obbligu li tkun ippreparata. MIA li tgħaffeġ tagħmel il-ħsara lit-turiżmu, ħsara li mhiex żgħira u li ma titkejjilx bl-euros. Hi ħsara lir-reputazzjoni. Ir-reputazzjoni tibnija bil-mod imma titlifha f’ħakka t’għajn.

X’ser jagħmel il-Ministru tat-Turiżmu? Ser jinvestiga x’wassal biex l-MIA ma kienitx ippreparata tant li għal xi ħin kellu jagħlaq l-airport?

Nistennew lill-Ministri Konrad Mizzi u lil Edward Zammit Lewis għax bħalissa ma issibhomx b’nemes. Għandhom ħafna x’jispjegaw.

Attrazzjoni turistika: Malta fid-dawl tax-xemgħa

candlelight2

 

Hemm ħtieġa urġenti li nitgħallmu nkunu pożittivi. Ankè minn inċident serju bħall-ħsara li żviluppat fil-Power Station fil-lejl ta’ bejn it-Tlieta 12 u l-Erbgħa 13 t’Awwissu hemm ħafna x’nitgħallmu.

Malta fi dlam ċappa jew Malta fid-dawl tax-xemgħa?

Flok tisħet id-dlam mhux aħjar tixgħel xemgħa, forsi nkunu nistgħu nirreklamaw lil Malta bħala a candlelight destination. Malta romantika. Inkella, kif tista’ tmur lura fiż-żmien waqt li tkun membru tal-Unjoni Ewropeja?

Speċi ta’ Burkina Faso fil-Mediterran. Tistħajlek qiegħed f’Ouagadougou fil-kwiet, fis-sliem, serħan il-moħħ u fi dlam ċappa.

Problema waħda biss kien hemm. Jidher li bħala pajjiż m’aħniex ippreparati  għal dawn l-inċidenti.

Il-Marsa, Ħal-Qormi, Ħaż-Żebbuġ, Is-Siġġiewi u postijiet oħra, dal-għodu l-Erbgħa kien għad ma kienx hemm provista ta’ elettriku. Fis-seklu 21 dan m’huwiex aċċettabbli.

L-anqas ma huwa aċċettabbli li l-unika airport tagħna – dak tal-Gudja –  li għal xi ħin matul il-lejl għalaq, m’għandux pjan ta’ kontinġenza f’każ li ma jkollux provista diretta tal-elettriku.

L-inċident fil-power station hu serju ħafna. Li l-Korporazzjoni Enemalta iddum ma tirrimedja hu serju ukoll. Imma li l-MIA jkollha tagħlaq l-airport huwa ta’ gravita’ kbira. L-ebda pożittivita’ ma tista’ tirrimedja għal din il-ħsara kbira.

Hemm ħafna mistoqsijijiet li jeħtieġu tweġiba immedjata.

Il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta trid tispjega dwar xi programm ta’ maintenance għandha għall-impjanti kollha li topera. Trid tispjega x’miżuri ħadet u x’miżuri qed tieħu biex tantiċipa l-ħsara, kif ukoll għaliex il-ħsara tal-lejl li għadda ma kienitx antiċipata.

Fil-waqt li naċċetta li l-ħsara tista’ tiżviluppa f’daqqa mingħajr ma jkun possibli li tidentifika din il-ħsara minn kmieni jrid ikun ċar x’għamlet u x’qed tagħmel l-Korporazzjoni Enemalta biex tantiċipa.

Huwa importanti ukoll li l-Korporazzjoni Enemalta tkun kapaċi tirrimedja f’ħin qasir kull ħsara li tista’ tiżviluppa u dan għax din il-ħsara lill-pajjiż tiswielu ħafna. Tiswa’ mhux biss fi flus imma tiswa’ ħafna iktar f’reputazzjoni ħażina li tagħmel ħsara kbira fit-tul lill-pajjiż kollu.

Ma nistgħux inkunu l-Burkina Faso tal-Mediterran.

Hemm bżonn ukoll li l-Airport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta (MIA) jispjega għaliex kien neċessarju li għal xi ħin jingħalaq l-ajruport  b’diversi ajruplani jinżlu f’ Catania, Trapani jew Palermo.  Għaliex l-MIA ma kelliex aċċess għal provista alternattiva tal-elettriku? Mela veru li f’idejn il-privat l-airport flok mar il-quddiem mal-lura?

L-impatt tal-egħluq tal-ajruport għamel u ser jagħmel ħsara kbira lir-reputazzjoni ta’ dan il-pajjiż. Inutli li l-Awtorita tat-Turiżmu tonfoq il-miljuni biex tirreklama lill-Malta għax ir-reklam tal-Korporazzjoni Enemalta u l-MIA jinnewtralizzhom kollha.

Fid-dawl (jew fid-dlam) ta’ dan kollu kif tista’ tkun pożittiv?

L-inkompetenza u d-delettantiżmu fit-tmexxija ta’ dan il-pajjiż fil-livelli kollha tiegħu qed teqirdu ftit ftit.

Road Safety and Motor Sports project proposal

Road Safety and Motorsport Facility

I attended yesterday’s business breakfast organised by the Malta Motorsports Federation on its proposal to build a Road Safety and Motorsports Facility in Malta.  The proposal requires a land area of between 33 and 40 hectares and it appears that government has already identified the land which could serve for this purpose. Indications given so far are that it is in the vicinity of the airport, close to Safi and Kirkop.

During the Business Breakfast the Prime Minister expressed qualified support for the project. He referred to issues of noise and financial feasibility as being basic and which in his view require to be addressed in more detail before government considers the matter definitely to take a final decision.

I also heard veteran entrepeneur Maurice Mizzi air his views. He agreed with the road safety aspect of the project whilst disagreeing with the motor sports part on the basis of noise pollution.

The two aspects of the proposed project are complimentary. The Motor Sports aspect is considered to be the revenue generating part whilst the Road Safety aspect will contribute to an organised professional drive to have better trained drivers. The road safety aspect of the project was defined by one of the foreign speakers as being a CSR driven project, a means through which Motor Sports channels back into the community profits which are generated.

The issues to be examined are not only those relating to financial feasibility and noise impacts as emphasisied by the Prime Minister. Air quality and the emission of particulate matter resulting from the fuels which will be in use has to be studied in detail. One has also to consider the fact that the localities in the vicinity of the airport are already subject to excessive noise pollution resulting from the operations of Malta’s International Airport.

With this in mind whilst emphasising that the proposed project may serve as a much needed educational tool to improve driving skills much more needs to be examined before it can be given the go-ahead.

Our community may reap great benefits from this initiatve through improved road safety. As to the sports aspect one has undoubtedly to consider further. Eventually a decision will depend on the technical parameters of the project, the proposed mitigating measures and the precise location of the site. Any decision has to await such time as these issues are clear. It has to be clear that the communities close by are not shouldered with more burdens. They have shouldered more than enough to date.

published at di-ve.com on Friday 8 February 2013

Ħalluna naħdmu ………ħalluna ngħixu

Ħalluna naħdmu.

Hekk qal l-iżviluppatur Sandro Chetcuti waqt laqgħa organizzata man-nies tan-negozju mill-Partit Laburista. Dan hu slogan li qed jintuża issa biex ifisser ġlieda kontra l-burokrazija. Fost oħrajn kontra l-hekk imsejħa burokrazija fil-MEPA.

Qalulna li fil-Ġermanja permess ta’ żvilupp joħroġ fi tlett xhur iżda f’Malta jieħu ta’ l-inqas tmien xhur.

Li ma qalulniex li f’Malta l-industrija tal-bini tħalliet għal snin sħah tagħmel prattikament dak li trid. Bil-konsegwenza li presentement hawn iktar minn 70,000 post residenzjali vojt. Dawn il-postijiet vojta huma ekwivalenti għal 9 darbiet daqs iż-żona residenzjali ta’ B’kara.

Ma qalulniex li minkejja l-attaparsi kontrolli l-MEPA ħarġet permessi li qatt ma kellhom joħorġu.

Il-Lidl ta’ Ħal Safi inbena bħala riżultat ta’ permess ta’ żvilupp li qatt ma kellu joħroġ. Tant li wara li l-Uffiċjal tal-Verifika (Audit Officer) tal-MEPA fi Frar 2008 ikkonkluda l-investigazzjoni tiegħu kienet irreżenjat il-Kummissjoni għall-Kontroll ta’ l-Iżvilupp.

Il-Lidl ta’ Ħal-Luqa mhux biss nbena f’żona li ma kienx permess li jsir dan il-bini talli l-parkeġġ tiegħu qiegħed sitwat taħt l-aħħar parti tal-flight path għall-mitjar internazzjonali ta’ Malta. Jiena infurmat li waqt li kien għaddej ix-xogħol ta’ kostruzzjoni fis-sit tal-Lidl f’Ħal-Luqa minħabba l-jib tal-krejnijiet li kien hemm fil-parking area l-aċċess għall-mitjar ingħalaq għal xi ħin. Huma u neżlin l-ajruplani tant ikunu fil-baxx meta jkunu fuq il-parkeġġ tal-Lidl ta’ Ħal-Luqa li kien hemm periklu serju ta’ inċident minħabba dawn il-krejnijiet.

Il-problemi konnessi mal-MEPA huma is-swaba politiċi li hemm fiha l-ħin kollu. Ir-riforma tal-MEPA ma indirizzatx l-iżjed element essenzjali u ċjoe kif jinħatru dawk li jieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet. Dwar dan Alternattiva Demokratika fil-manifest elettorali li ser tippreżenta għall-elezzjoni ġenerali li għandna wara l-bieb ser terġa’ tipproponi soluzzjoni li lill-politiku toħorġu l-barra mill-proċess li permezz tiegħu preżentement qiegħed involut direttament fid-deċiżjonijiet u minflok issaħħaħ ir-rwol tiegħu (tal-politiku) fejn tidħol is-sorveljanza.

Il-MEPA għandha rwol importanti. Sfortunatament m’hiex titħalla taqdi dan ir-rwol. Tkun tista’ taqdi dan ir-rwol meta jinħatru persuni kapaċi fit-tmexxija tal-MEPA. Dawn il-persuni jeħtieġ li jkunu disponibbli biex kontinwament jagħtu kont ta’ egħmilhom. Ir-rwol tal-MEPA mhux biss li toħroġ jew iżżomm il-permessi tal-iżvilupp. Fuq kollox għandha l-obbligu li fid-deċiżjonijiet tagħha u permezz tagħhom tassigura li l-kwalita’ ta’ ħajja li ngħixu lkoll kemm aħna titjieb.

Biex dan ikun jista’ jsir il-MEPA trid trabbi is-snien mal-Gvern u l-awtoritajiet pubbliċi. (Għax fost l-agħar deċiżjonijiet tal-MEPA hemm dawk fejn huwa involut il-Gvern: il-power station f’Delimara, il-Freeport f’Birzebbuga, l-impjant tal-iskart ta’ Sant’ Antnin f’Marsaskala……) Meta dan ikun jista’ jsir, imbagħad  ikun possibli li jingħad li l-MEPA qed taqdi l-missjoni tagħha.

Ħalluna ngħixu!