Opposition Environment Spokesperson Robert Cutajar will be requesting an investigation by the office of the Ombudsman into illegal works being carried out by government entities, including roadworks at the iconic Blue Lagoon in Comino.
Roadworks on the idyllic island commenced a few days ago, despite the fact that a permit has not yet been issued. In fact, the case officer tasked with processing the application has recommended the works for refusal.
Cutajar visited the island two days ago to see the works for himself. In comments to Lovin Malta he said that the commencement of works before the necessary permits have been issued had become standard practice, with other entities now “following Infrastructure Malta’s lead”.
“This is happening everywhere. For example, the Water Services Corporation is inflicting environmental damage in a Natura 2000 in Pembroke. Similar works were carried out in Dwejra, close to the Victoria lines,” he said.
Cutajar stressed that Comino was also a protected area, adding that all across the island, government entities were riding roughshod over environment and planning laws.
According to the Planning Authority, the works do not require a permit because they qualify as “emergency works in relation to public safety”, with Cutajar questioning whether the emergency, in this case, was the fact that the case officer had recommended that a permit for the works be refused.
“It is unacceptable for government entities to first carry out works and then try to get a permit later. What the Planning Authority is saying is a lie,” he said, adding that it was clear that the decision to start works had been taken after it became clear that the permit was to be recommended for refusal.
Speaking more broadly, Cutajar said it was time that the police started to investigate government entities that commit illegalities.
With this in mind, he said that he had submitted a number of parliamentary questions to Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri, asking whether the police had investigated any such works.
“The first time round I did not get a reply, so I asked the question again and was told that the police will investigate whoever they need to,” he said.
Do you agree with the ongoing works are required?