A group of guerrilla gardeners took matters in their own hands last night, planting a number of tree saplings in Mdina Road, Attard, where construction works are underway as part of the Central Link project.
The activists, from Extinction Rebellion Malta, also added name tags to the trees, perhaps to add an extra dose of guilt to the construction workers when the time comes to rip them out of the soil.
“Extinction Rebellion Malta yesterday planted a number of trees in Mdina Road, Attard, where Infrastructure Malta is working on a project which does not deliver,” the environmental pressure group said in a statement.
“These trees, unlike the 500 mature trees destroyed in the name of the Central Link project, are saplings. Given time, they can contribute to the natural environment in the area. We encourage Infrastructure Malta to give time not just to the trees, but also to implementing a policy which works – rather than a project which adds to traffic, destroys the natural environment and does not deliver.”
“We are as always willing to work with authorities to deliver a public transportation and tunnel system which works for economic development and the environment.”
The Central Link project will see the construction of seven kilometres of new lanes and is intended to reduce traffic congestion in the centre of Malta by some 50%. The project also includes the longest segregated bike lane in Malta, as well as over 10km of pedestrian footpaths and segregated crossings.
However, residents and environmental activists have protested the development on the grounds that it will involve the destruction of several trees, old homes and fields of fertile land.