Transport Minister Ian Borg has reacted to tense protests over the construction of a road in Dingli, insisting that all permits are in hand and that residents want the works to go through.
“With all due respect, I grew up there. I was trusted by Dingli residents to run the locality three times and I was trusted twice to represent them in Parliament,” Borg told Lovin Malta.
“I know people by their name and surname: those that live in that area, and the few Dingli residents who were there with Moviment Graffitti.”
Activists from Moviment Graffitti have forced Infrastructure Malta workers to stop works to connect three Dingli roads, Sqaq il-Museum, Daħla tas-Sienja and Triq San Gwann Bosco in Dingli.
Protestors argued that the government agency does not have permission for the project and warned that it threatens arable land, old carob trees and a medieval church in the area. However, Borg rubbished their claims.
“We’ve already said before that we have all the permits needed, but I suppose it’s more click-baity if they say otherwise,” Borg stressed.
The minister even added that the road plan was set in stone more than a decade ago, under the Nationalist Party.
“In 2006, when I was mayor and the Nationalist Party was in government, they decided to change the plans for the two alleys and join them to a road called Triq San Bosco.”
But while the roads were designed and approved, Borg added, the Nationalist Party never actually went through with it.
“This road plan was made at the request of residents on Sqaq il-Mużew and Sqaq Daħlet is-Sienja. Moviment Graffitti appealed it and we stopped. Then, there was a decision by the Environmental and Resources Authority and we resumed. Then, Graffitti appealed again.”
“Now the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal ruled that this needs to happen. Do we believe in the rule of law or not?” the minister said.
Borg said that Moviment Graffitti’s message was more of a personal attack than about the project itself.
“I believe the aim of their protest wasn’t really about the project itself, but a message about me in the village I grew up in. I believe it’s counter-productive. It’s our obligation to residents to complete what was promised,” he finished.
This clip was taken from Lovin Malta’s exclusive interview with Transport Minister Ian Borg. The full interview will be published at a later date.
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