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Direct ActionOver the past few weeks MEPA continued with its quest to ensure that illegal developments continued to be removed not only from sensitive areas, such as area that full ODZ in Wardija, Qala and Mtarfa but also at sites that were causing an inconvenience to residents living in adjacent properties. These direct action operations come with only a few days left for the new law to come into effect that will remove the right of any applicant to submit an application to sanction illegal works carried out in ODZ or protected area after May 2008 or any illegality on scheduled property.  

In Wardija, the Authority removed an illegal boundary wall, a track and substantial amounts of illegally dumped construction material and inert waste that had been placed over garigue stretches. The owner of the site agreed to remove all the remaining illegal material.

The enforcement personnel of MEPA also demolished an illegal structure that was being constructed with concrete bricks, it what looked like an intentional boathouse in Dahlet Qorrot Bay in Qala. The Authority also removed a large metal gate and a concrete platform from this site. In the picturesque valley between Rabat and Mtarfa, MEPA sealed off the entrances to a site where illegal material had been illegal dumped.  

Follow complaints by the Birzebbuga local council, the Authority also cleared a large site in Triq il-Qajjenza Birzebbuga, opposite the seashore, which for a number of years had been left abandoned with large quantities of illegally dumped construction waste and other inert material. This site was downgrading the open space area and causing an inconvenience to residents living nearby, who expressed their satisfactionand the end result of MEPA’s operation.

In Birkirkara and Zebbug, two large garages which were illegally being used for commercial purposes were stopped. The Authority, in Birkirkara, walled off part of the garage entrance to only allow the use of the garage for parking cars and not for   commercial storage of a large vehicle, while in Zebbug the Authority sealed off the electrical supply of a garage which was illegally being used as an extension by a confectioner as storage and cold room facilities. The equipment in this facility was generating high noise levels to the detriment of the residents in the area. 

The Authority have also managed to close a number of other cases whereby the contraveners are co-operating more with the enforcement unit of Mepa and within an agreed timeframe are removing the illegality themselves, with the premise that they are saving having to foot the bill of the direct action operation.