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Sealing of B’ Bugia scrapyard welcomed by NGOs

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Sealing of B' Bugia scrapyard welcomed by NGOsMEPA’s announcement of its direct action to seal off the Ta’ Gasparell scrapyard has been well received by both residents and environment NGOs Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) and Ramblers Association of Malta. FAA Coordinator Astrid Vella commented “Because of this scrapyard, the residents have had to put up with decades of dirt, air polluted by grit and constant noise. MEPA’s action offers them hope that the full dismantling of the abusive scrapyard may finally be in sight.”

It is to MEPA’s credit that it did not wait for the conclusion of the appeal before taking action as this case has been dragging on for fourteen years. During that time the scrapyard continued to grow and even benefit from government contracts, while encroaching on potentially-rich archaeological ground near Borg in-Nadur and Ghar Dalam. FAA and Ramblers have been raising this issue with the authorities for the last few years and maintain that such initiatives to rehabilitate the countryside are instrumental in rebuilding the public’s faith in MEPA.

Ramblers’ Secretary Alex Vella commented that similar measures are sorely needed to make the Maltese countryside more attractive to locals and foreigners alike. For far too long now, scrap and other yards and quarries have been allowed to tarnish the Maltese countryside with impunity. Other abusive yards, including the ones along the road leading to Birzebbugia, along the Burmarrad to St Pauls Bay main road, at Mgarr near the parish church, at Ta’ Qali near the Crafts Village, and at many other areas, some of which are most prominently visible from important tourist sites – all need to be cleared.

The NGOs support calls from suffering neighbours for steps to be taken for such yards to be moved to industrial estate areas that have fallen into disuse. This remedy would be an equitable solution to all parties and a boost to MTA’s efforts to promote countryside walks for tourists. It is hoped that MEPA’s stand on this case is a further confirmation of its commitment to protect the Maltese countryside.

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