Local NGO Moviment Graffitti revealed that the controversial Dingli road alignment project seeking to connect Sqaq il-Museum, Daħla tas-Sienja, and Triq San Ġwann Bosco will be taking place on partially ODZ land.
Infrastructure Malta had previously stated that the proposed road can be built without a permit, justifying its claims by saying that the road is scheduled in the North West Local Plan of 2006.
“Upon closer inspection of the Local Plan, the schemed road as shown on the PA GeoServer is incorrect, if not illegal since it does not match the Local Plan,” the NGO said.
“The Local Plan indicates only the street alignment on one side and fails to show the alignment on the other side. This is mainly because half, if not more, of the road would be in ODZ and therefore required a full development application to construct and not as claimed by Infrastructure Malta on numerous occasions.“
If the road alignment project takes place, private fields, old carob trees, and rooms used for farming are set to be destroyed. A number of carob trees have already been cut down in preparation for the project.
Last month, Moviment Graffitti members went to Dingli to protest said project. After around four hours of demonstrations, heavy machinery which had been there since early morning was seen driving away as protestors claimed the temporary victory.
“If members of Moviment Graffitti, residents, and farmers had not stopped the works in time, not only would have the medieval church of Santa Duminka been in danger of collapse, the mould would have been built without a permit as required by law, bulldozing over residents, farmers, and arable private land,” the NGO continued.
A Dingli resident had previously highlighted the road alignment project would put the remnants of the 15th century Santa Duminka church at risk. Shortly after, however, the chapel was accepted to be scheduled at Grade 1, thus being awarded the highest level of protection.
“Since we now know that the proposed Roa does not need a permit, we call on the Infrastructure Ministry and the Environment Ministry to immediately and definitively halt plans to build this useless and harmful road, as well as remove the incomplete road drawings from the Local Plan,“ Moviment Graffitti continued.