The owner of a Mellieħa apartment* which collapsed last month has been ordered by the courts to clean up the debris of her former home at her own expense.
The apartment collapsed last month, allegedly as a result of construction works that were taking place next door. However, the court yesterday shifted the onus of cleaning up the debris onto the homeowners themselves, citing a verbal order that had been given to them on site on the day of the collapse.
A 75-year-old woman used to live in that apartment and she was left trapped inside it for a while on the day of the collapse. Her daughter and granddaughter, who had been visiting, had left the building that same morning to catch a flight.
Moviment Graffitti, the NGO which organised a protest in the wake of the collapse of the Mellieħa apartment and two other residences, said they are angry and disgusted at the court’s decision and demanded the immediate intervention of the Cabinet of Ministers.
“Almost three months after the first so-called “accident”, no remedy has been given to the affected residents; instead, they are now being made to bear the costs of the developers’ carelessness and arrogance,” Graffitti said.
“Our proposals, aimed at improving the residents’ standard of life, have been conveniently swept away by those in power – a clear message from the authorities that developers and their business are the real priority, not the common citizen.”
Graffitti also denounced the Malta Developers’ Association contractors’ new register for contractors, launched yesterday, as a “PR stunt where [MDA President] Sandro Chetcuti and his X-Men turn up to save the day”.
“This proposal simply tries to mask their attempt to strengthen the development lobby and its membership numbers, during a time where the MDA is under severe pressure from the protesting public,” it said.
“Anyone with a minimum of grey matter knows that the regulation of the development lobby and its contractors can only be carried out by serious, unflinching authorities.”
“The ease with which the MDA, a private lobby, is allowed a free rein to dictate regulations by government leaves us, to say the least, apprehensive.”
*A previous version of the article had stated that the 75-year-old woman was the owner of the apartment, but she was actually a tenant