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Malta’s Ombudsman To Look Into ‘Emergency’ Comino Works Following PN Request

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The Commissioner for the Environment and Planning within the Office of the Ombudsman has launched an investigation into what have been described as illegal works in Comino, after a request by Opposition Environment spokesperson Robert Cutajar. 

According to the Planning Authority (PA), the works, which have been requested by the Gozo Ministry, did not require a permit because they were considered emergency works related to the area’s safety. Despite this, the ministry had in fact applied for a permit, which was recommended for refusal by the case officer. 

In addition to ongoing works in Comino, Cutajar also requested that the Ombudsman’s office investigate works by Infrastructure Malta and the Water Services Corporation, including works in Dingli, Marsa, Attard, the Dwejra Lines in Mosta, as well as in Mellieha. An investigation into works currently ongoing in Mriehel and Pembroke was also requested by the PN MP. 

The Comino works were condemned by a number of environmental organisations, including Friends of the Earth Malta, which insisted that no permit had been issued. The voluntary organisation said that work starting before the appropriate clearance was obtained was a “worrying trend” that was happening all around the island. 

This was echoed by Cutajar who has even called on the police to investigate works carried out by government entities before a permit has been issued. 

In a statement this evening, Cutajar said that Alan Saliba, the Commissioner for Environment and Planning had notified both the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority that he would be investigating the manner. 

Cutajar added that the Opposition wanted to send a clear message against the destruction of Malta’s environment. He added that rather than lead by example, the government appeared to be leading in this environmental destruction. 

Do you think the works are justified? Comment below

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