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‘Maltese Farmers Are Crying Out For Rural Road Upgrades’: Transport Minister Responds To Social Media Outrage

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Transport Minister Ian Borg has responded to criticism that his ministry has been turning valley beds into ‘highways’ in areas such as Wied L-Isqof in Żebbuġ as well as parts of his own hometown, Rabat.

“For years, many farmers in different parts of Malta and Gozo have been calling on the Government to invest in the rural road network,” Dr Borg told Lovin Malta.

“Local councils, Infrastructure Malta and other entities are now investing millions in the reconstruction of this infrastructure. This work started last year in many different rural areas and I believe that it is an important contribution to the agricultural sector.”

“It also makes our countryside more accessible to the public”

“Some of these roads hadn’t seen any form of maintenance in years. No one is contesting the need to upgrade them,” he continued.

“The authorities have now raised concerns on the extents of the works being carried out. I was happy to see that Infrastructure Malta has immediately taken note of the authorities’ reservations and confirmed it will be discussing a way forward to resolve any difficulties. After all, we all share common goals.”

Maltese environmentalists, as well as the Environmental Resources Authority and Nature Trust, have condemned some of the road-widening works in rural areas around Malta, saying the construction material had destroyed the natural environment and was physically changing the profile of the valley, as well as the flow of water.

You can read Ian Borg’s full statement below

Individuals, journalists, e-NGOs or authorities should have no reason to refrain from voicing their concerns about environment protection or other matters. It is also crucial for all stakeholders involved to take note of these concerns, discuss solutions and take action in the best interest of our country’s sustainability. This process is essential in a democratic society and we should all encourage it.

At the same time, in spite of the pressures of social media to try and impress to get more attention, hyperbole is never beneficial. Some commentators exclaimed that these rural roads are being turned into four-lane roads, which is clearly not the case.

For years, many farmers in different parts of Malta and Gozo have been calling on the Government to invest in the rural road network.

Local councils, Infrastructure Malta and other entities are now investing millions in the reconstruction of this infrastructure. This work started last year in many different rural areas and I believe that it is an important contribution to the agricultural sector.

It also makes our countryside more accessible to the public. Some of these roads hadn’t seen any form of maintenance in years. No one is contesting the need to upgrade them. The authorities have now raised concerns on the extents of the works being carried out.

I was happy to see that Infrastructure Malta has immediately taken note of the authorities’ reservations and confirmed it will be discussing a way forward to resolve any difficulties. After all, we all share common goals.

Once this matter is resolved, farmers will have improved and safer access to their lands, without putting at risk the sustainability of the rural environment they work in every day.

What do you think of rural road-widening works?

READ NEXT: Another 170 Residential Roads In Malta To Be Rebuilt At Value Of Around €70 Million

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