6 September 2011
Reference is being made to an article which was penned by Mr. Alfred Baldacchino and published in the Times of Malta on Friday 26th August 2011 under the header ‘Trees, rubble walls and BSS’. In his article, Mr Baldacchino highlights the incident, whereby works carried out during the construction of a new bus interchange facility, along the Rabat road near Ta’Qali, resulted in a rural rubble wall being demolished and replaced by a brick wall, while concrete was shoddily laid around a number of Aleppo trees. Mr Baldacchino uses this incident to assert that MEPA ‘like pale melancholy, sits retired, staring and ruminating its impotency to control the mauling of environmental and public assets.’
Contrary to the negative impression Mr Baldacchino tries to create for your readers, the Authority can confirm that on the 23rd August 2011, a few days before Mr. Alfred Baldacchino's article was published in your newspaper, MEPA had already issued an enforcement notice (ECF 434/11) against Transport Malta for having illegally demolished a protected rural rubble wall and replaced it with a brick wall. The Authority has also requested Transport Malta to remove the concrete from around the circumference of the affected tree trunks and under supervision, construct a 'konka' to allow for better water percolation.
The Authority has given Transport Malta up to 15 days to remove the illegality, following which MEPA may then take direct action. The Enforcement Directorate and the Environment Protection Directorate are monitoring closely the situation and have inspected the site again this week. If, for Mr Baldacchino, the Authority has been caught sitting “retired” and “staring”, then he is mistaken.
While the Authority continues to do its utmost to ensure the implementation and enforcement of planning and environment regulations, it reminds the public and all government entities that we all bear shared responsibility in safeguarding our natural and built heritage.