Residents, farmers and activists request the preservation of cultural, environmental and agricultural heritage in Dingli |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
06/10/2020

Residents, farmers and activists request the preservation of cultural, environmental and agricultural heritage in Dingli

Dingli residents, farmers and Moviment Graffitti activists have written to Minister Farrugia, Minister Borg and Minister Herrera requesting their immediate intervention to stop the construction of a planned road on fields in Dingli (read full letter here). An urgent request was also made to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and the Executive Council of the PA to issue an Emergency Conservation Order for the Late Medieval Church of Santa Duminka and its surroundings in Dingli.


These requests follow the direct action carried out last Friday in Dingli, where Infrastructure Malta turned up with heavy machinery and no warning in its quest to build a road on private fields. In their letter to the Ministers, the farmers, residents and activists raise questions on the necessity for this road. Having been planned since 1998, no action whatsoever had ever been taken to build the road in question. However, it suddenly appears that the road has become so urgently needed that Infrastructure Malta has decided to send workers and machinery to the site without following the formal process of officially notifying all the relevant landowners, who will be severely impacted by these works since the road would directly cut across their arable fields.


Besides destroying a site of great archaeological importance, the road in question would also be highly detrimental to the livelihood of several of these farmers, who currently till the land and grow crops, and who have owned this land for many years. Moreover, the water reservoirs that currently provide much needed water to irrigate these arable fields are in jeopardy due to this development.


The building of this road will also create pressure for more development in the ODZ areas surrounding the proposed road, as there have already been applications for residences on ODZ in that exact area. Dingli is one of the few remaining rural villages in this country, and the residents want to preserve it as such.


In the light of all this, the farmers, residents and activists demanded:


  1. The immediate issue of an Emergency Conservation Order to protect the Late Medieval Church of Santa Duminka and its surroundings. The site should also be given a Grade 1 Scheduling and a status of a Class A archaeological site, including a scheduled buffer zone around it;
  2. A change in the Local Plan so that this road is removed from the plans due to the fact that it is useless and highly damaging to our cultural heritage, our agriculture and our natural environment.


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Residenti, bdiewa u attivisti jitolbu li jkun preservat il-wirt kulturali, ambjentali u agrikolu ta’ Ħad-Dingli


Residenti ta’ Ħad-Dingli, bdiewa u attivisti mill-Moviment Graffitti kitbu lill-Ministru Farrugia, lill-Ministru Borg u lill-Ministru Herrera, biex jintervjenu immedjatament biex iwaqqfu l-kostruzzjoni ta’ triq ippjanata fuq għelieqi f’Ħad-Dingli (aqra l-ittra kollha hawn). Saret ukoll talba urġenti lis-Sovrintendenza tal-Wirt Kulturali u lill-Kunsill Eżekuttiv tal-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar biex tinħareġ Emergency Conservation Order għall-Knisja Medjevali ta’ Santa Duminka u l-madwar tagħha f’Ħad-Dingli.


Dawn it-talbiet saru wara l-azzjoni diretta li saret il-Ġimgħa li għadda f’Ħad-Dingli meta Infrastructure Malta marru b’inġenji goffi u mingħajr m’avżaw lil ħadd, bit-tir li jibnu triq fuq għelieqi privati. Fl-ittra tagħhom lill-Ministri, il-bdiewa, ir-residenti u l-attivisti iqajmu ċerti mistoqsijiet dwar il-ħtieġa ta’ din it-triq. Għalkemm ilha pjanata mill-1998, minn dak iż-żmien ma ttieħdet assolutament ebda azzjoni biex tinbena din it-triq. Madankollu, jidher li issa din it-triq saret tant urġenti li Infrastructure Malta iddeċidiet li tibgħat lill-ħaddiema u l-makkinarju fuq is-sit mingħajr ma segwiet il-proċess formali li tavża lis-sidien tal-art milquta, li se jkunu affetwati b’mod negattiv ħafna b’dawn ix-xogħlijiet minħabba li t-triq se tkun qed tgħaddi direttament minn fuq l-art agrikola tagħhom.


Minbarra li se teqred sit ta’ importanza arkeoloġika, it-triq konċernata se tkun ukoll ta’ detriment għall-għajxien ta’ bosta minn dawn il-bdiewa, li ilhom jaħartu din l-art u jkabbru l-uċuħ tar-raba għal ħafna snin. Barra minn hekk, il-ġibjuni li bħalissa qed jipprovdu l-ilma tant meħtieġ biex jissaqqew dawn l-għelieqi huma mhedda minħabba dan l-iżvilupp.


Il-bini ta’ din it-triq se jkun qed joħloq ukoll pressjoni għal aktar żvilupp fuq l-artijiet barra miż-żona tal-iżvilupp (ODZ) tal-madwar, minħabba li diġa kien hemm applikazzjonijiet għal-residenzi fuq art ODZ f’dawn l-istess inħawi. Ħad-Dingli huwa wieħed mill-ftit irħula rurali li għad fadal f’dan il-pajjiż, u r-residenti jixtiequ li jżommuh kif inhu.


Fid-dawl ta’ dan kollu, il-bdiewa, ir-residenti u l-attivisti qed jitolbu:


  1. Il-ħruġ immedjat ta’ Emergency Conservation Order biex tiġi protetta l-Knisja Medjevali ta’ Santa Duminka u l-madwar. Is-sit għandu jkun skedat bħala Grad 1 u jingħata status ta’ sit arkeoloġiku Klassi A, li jinkludi buffer zone skedata madwaru.
  2. Bidla fil-Pjan Lokali biex din it-triq tiġi mneħħija mill-pjan minħabba li m’għandhiex użu apparti li se tagħmel ħafna ħsara lill-wirt kulturali u agrikolu u lill-ambjent naturali tagħna.