An application for the uprooting of trees as part of road extension works by the Pieta seafront has spread like wildfire online in recent hours.
However, Lovin Malta can thankfully confirm – after speaking with the Pieta local council – that these concerns are misplaced. Indeed, the application was for the installation of bus lanes in Marina Street some four years ago. As it turned out, the trees weren’t uprooted as part of the roadworks.
The age of the Transport Malta application can easily be viewed by slightly analyzing it – its representative is listed as Stanley Portelli, who was replaced as CEO by James Piscopo in 2013.
However, the case serves as an example of the power of social media. A screenshot of the application had originally been shared by Martin Galea de Giovanni, chairperson of the environmental NGO Friends of the Earth, and soon spread to other Facebook groups and pages.
Some people were already preparing themselves for a protest over the application.
The readiness of people to believe the story could also serve as a warning sign to the government on how poorly the public perceives their environmental credibility. Indeed, Transport Malta recently came under fire for chopping down oak trees in Lija as part of a road extension project.