Transport Minister Ian Borg and Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi have agreed to hold a meeting with activists from Moviment Graffitti in an attempt to resolve an impasse over a planned Dingli road which the roads agency is being stopped from building.
“Minister Ian Borg has, just now, invited Moviment Graffitti to a meeting at a location that isn’t Infrastructure Malta’s offices. Hopefully, in the coming hours we will be able to meet with residents,” Azzoaprdi said this morning during an interview on Lovin Daily.
Just over a week ago, the activist group requested a meeting with Borg and Azzopardi, insisting however that the meeting take place with members of the public present.
Infrastructure Malta invited Moviment Graffitti to a private meeting for which the public would not be present, citing COVID-19 restrictions. This was not accepted by the activists
Asked whether the meeting will be a public one, Azzopardi confirmed that residents’ “representatives” would be present for the meeting.
Contacted by Lovin Malta, Moviment Graffiti confirmed they had this morning received an invitation to a meeting which they would be accepting.
“After inviting us for a meeting via a mediator (Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia) and withdrawing the invite at the last minute, we can confirm Minister Borg’s staff contacted us for a meeting this morning and that we have accepted,” Graffiti said
They added that the meeting would be held in Parliament, as was originally suggested by the group.
“We can also confirm that Infrastructure Malta have made it a condition for part of the meeting to be held without the residents present in the room, claiming that some of our demands ‘are not related’ to the Dingli saga.
“Moviment Graffitti is pleased to see Azzopardi talk enthusiastically about this meeting, especially after the difficulties posed by the Infrastructure Malta head during negotiations for the first meeting. We hope he shows the same enthusiasm to resolve residents’ issues during the meeting.”
Activists from Moviment Graffitti have been camped out in a field through which the road is meant to pass for the last two weeks, in order to stop bulldozers from accessing the site.
The activists are insisting that the works are illegal and require a permit. On the other hand, Infrastructure Malta, together with the Planning Authority are insisting that no permit is required because scheduled roads are exempt from requiring permission.
Scheduled roads are roads that have been planned for in Malta’s long-term development master plan, which in some cases simply means that a line was once drawn on a map.
In this case, the planned road was included on a map drawn up in the 1960s and has been included in all local plans since.
In addition to issues specific to the Dingli case, Moviment Graffitti is also demanding that legal amendments be implemented to ensure that work on schemed roads in ODZ must also require a permit. It is also demanding changes to give NGOs the right to appeal planning decisions.
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