The owner of a site in Lija has been dumping inert materials, resulting in ‘eye-sore’ and a lot of dust for residents living in the Ta’ Senna area. One local reached out to Lovin Malta, speaking on behalf of other residents in the area, stating that the Planning Authority (PA) is taking little action.
Kevin Formosa wrote to the PA, the ERA and the BRO to flag the issue in May this year, who “all played ping-pong”, putting the responsibility on the other and saying investigations were underway.
“Apart from not having a permit to do so, these piles are not covered in any way and not even sprayed with water to minimize dust being blown around. Of course, if you do something illegal you don’t take steps to mitigate the effects on the area and the residents,” Formosa said.
Farrugia then found out there is a “special unit for large projects” in the PA. He wrote them in August, asking about the progress of the investigation and why nothing had been done yet. “The rubble of inert material in fact increased, not decreased,” Farrugia said.
It took them 10 days to investigate once again, and Farrugia stated it feels as if the offending person is being protected rather than being punished for the illegal dumping.
The PA replied that, following investigations by their Compliance & Enforcement Directorate, there are in fact permits for the rubble to be dumped there. It also said that they did an update inspection, where they noticed that excavation material had “overspilled” in the area.
This material “is presently being carted away, in compliance to instructions given by the Planning, Compliance and Enforcement Unit.” The PA then considered the investigations as resolved.
But, according to Formosa, nothing has changed. In September he contacted the PA again, which said it will be investigating once again.
“I don’t know who the owner is, but I bet that he’s an important person. If I had done something like this on my land, they would come down on me like a ton of bricks!”
“The investigating officer needs only to go on site and see with his own eyes. What is so difficult in doing so? Why, after three months, nothing happened? Why has he not been fined for polluting the area with dust? Are laws only applicable to the peasants? Is the owner being protected/shielded by the authority? Does he donate money to a political party?”