Destruction of Central Link Trees in Breach of Permit - Appellants Slam Rogue Agency and Ineffective Enforcement
A cluster of protected almond trees that should have been carefully transplanted from the Central Link site are now destroyed. Media reports revealed a breach of the nature permit - issued by ERA - which imposed other conditions including the requirement that works cannot start until the appeal is final. These conditions have been flagrantly disregarded by Infrastructure Malta which has bulldozed ahead, yet once again, apparently after requesting some "deviations" from the original permit.
The eNGOs and residents appealing the Central Link case have filed a judicial protest against ERA holding the Authority responsible for not adhering to environmental regulations and enforcing the terms of the very same permit issued by it. "Much is made of the compensatory tree-planting mechanism imposed by ERA when issuing its nature permit. This was touted as making up for the tree-axing rampage permit issued to Infrastructure Malta in the Central Link project . It was the spoonful-of-sugar meant to sweeten the tree destruction.
Now we find out, that not even the trees marked for transplantation will be saved and that "deviations" from the permit are being negotiated behind closed doors. Any fines that may be imposed on Infrastructure Malta will be paid for from taxpayers' funds - the public having to fund environmental breaches because of ineffectual enforcement.
As usual - the public and the environment lose out, whereas a rogue agency goes unpunished and unchecked"
AREN, Arnold Cassola, Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG Malta), Friends of the Earth Malta, Għaqda Siġar Maltin and Moviment Graffitti