Ta’ Qali National Park may be about to double in size, with a new governmental project promising to add an additional 200,000 square metres of open space to the green area. The announcement comes after an old concrete factory was removed from the area.
“This is not simply the embellishment of the area but the result of direct action on a zone that until a few weeks ago was a dilapidated concrete factory,” Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today. “We could have easily given it up for commercial use because we have investors who need the space but we saw the potential and decided to return it to the people.”
He went on to say that the area had been used “abusively” over the years, and the space would now be returned to the people. The factory had sat on about 52,000 square meters of land, and took about six weeks to remove.
“These projects and others show that our priority is the country’s economic well-being but this is a means to an end. The end is social justice, social mobility and quality of life, along with national unity and equality,” he said.
Apart from the 52,000 square metres occupied by the factory, another 150,000 square metres of land currently being used as parking areas will be rehabilitated
Parts of the park that are currently inaccessible will also become accessible to the public. The current dog park will be extended, and a camping site will also be built.
This means Ta’ Qali will become around 450,000 square metres in total, which is about the third of London’s Hyde Park.
Environment Minister Josè Herrera also pledged to plant 80,000 new trees, and said the site would be managed by Ambjent Malta. Transport Minister Ian Borg said the new project is equal to the size of 63 football pitches and will come to a cost of €20 million.
The government also announced that it would be looking into adding roofing to the Santa Venera tunnels, which would breating another 13,000 square metres of space that families could enjoy.
Together with the Ta’ Qali project, they said this would create “a new lung in the centre of the country.”
“This government knows that people want more open spaces so we are providing the solutions,” the Prime Minister said.