Early this morning the Direct Action team of the Planning Authority headed over to Ta’ Qali in an attempt to remove the mountains of construction waste dumped over a span of a few months. Newsbook.com.mt revealed nocturnal dumping at the site in December, when journalists stationed close to the factory had documented the scale of the illegal dumping going on in the dead of the night. Bonnici Brothers, when put on the spot had declined to answer and the Police who had been observed on site have, almost three months after the event, yet to answer.
Newsbook.com.mt spoke to Charles Gafa, direct action officer at the Planning Authority. He explained that once one fails to adhere to an enforcement notice, the Planning Authority steps in to remedy the situation, such as in this case.
The construction waste removed will be disposed of at an appropriate site by the Authority. Gafa explained that inert material will be taken to a quarry. When the material is mixed, this would have to be sorted, with Gafa underlining that this would be more expensive. However the Authority has an agreement with WasteServ for such cases and would end up paying for it.
The Planning Authority will also install cameras to monitor the 48,500 square meter area. Gafa explained that it was not yet known by the Authority who was responsible for the illegally dumped construction waste. The Authority also investigated the possibility that such waste was coming from nearby construction sites, however this was not the case.
Gafa said that the Authority investigated the site following the media reports, and found that indeed illegal dumping was taking place at Ta’ Qali. After the enforcement notices had been served, the Authority stepped in to take action. The site had been totally abandoned with Gafa explaining that the site was operated by a private partner however the Government was ultimately the owner of the stretch of land. It also resulted that the site was abandoned with a detriment to those who spend their time at Ta’ Qali.
How can you help the Authority?
Gafa explained that it was impossible for the Authority to keep track of all the illegalities, however with the help of the media and the general public they can investigate any illegalities brought to their attention.
The Planning Authority takes a lot of direct actions, such as these according to Gafa. The direct actions were taken in case of illegal dumping, illegal buildings, among others. An app is available for public to report illegalities. Such reports could also be filed anonymously either by submitting a picture or sending a text.
Video by Miguela Xuereb