Central Link Appellants Condemn Total Disregard of the Appeal Process
Despite assurances of compensation to farmers, careful relocation of water reservoirs and dialogue with stakeholders Infrastructure Malta will bulldoze ahead with the Central Link Project even though the Court of Appeal has not yet decided on the case. The appellants in the Central Link case condemn this as a travesty of justice as stakeholders' rights cannot reasonably be respected if fields are asphalted over, trees uprooted, vernacular structures demolished and the central vista leading up to Mdina forever destroyed to be replaced by a four-lane busy car highway. Infrastructure Malta has thrown thousands of euros at this PR campaign making all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about the project being necessary to stop the area from "total gridlock" within 20 years time. It is a pity that this statement was accepted blindly by all permitting authorities, only to be contradicted by Infrastructure Malta itself during the hearing before the Environment and Planning Law Review Tribunal. This project is yet another text book case of creating "induced demand" whereby roads are widened creating ever more demand for car-traffic in a never ending vicious-cycle.
As to why works are starting now, before the Court of Appeal has had the opportunity to decide on the matter - that is yet another clear sign that this was always a "fait accomplit" - a done deal, from when it was conceived. Tenders for the project were issued long before the planning permit was ever issued - in a clear bid to pressurise the Planning Board and all other permitting entities to get onboard with the plan.
The appellants in the Central Link case got wind that works were about to start before Christmas and filed a prohibitory injunction to try and stop them - at least until the Court of Appeal could decide on the matter. The First Hall of the Civil Court decided that since the Court of Appeal judgment was imminent, any works carried out would not be irreversible and there would be no irrevocable prejudice. The fact that Infrastructure Malta has not even respected the spirit of this decision - and is trying to force as much work through before the Appeal hearing next week - is indicative of its modus operandi. But then - this is the same entity which is causing havoc in Wied Qirda without a permit. What else can we expect?