NGO coalition calls for public review and regularisation of Palumbo operations |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
24/11/2020

NGO coalition calls for public review and regularisation of Palumbo operations

Since the 24th October, an MSC cruise ship has been docked at the shipyard for repairs. Many residents have complained about the constant foul emissions from this ship, its engines running 24 hours a day for the past month. The lack of provisions for the ship to plug into the port’s electrical grid - leading to the need for it to be constantly running - is one of the several serious issues related to the operation of the shipyard. Other issues, which the NGOs have called on the ombudsman to investigate, include the lack of transparency about the working conditions of shipyard employees and adherence to the conditions stipulated in the government concession.


Additionally, the NGOs have flagged the lack of action regarding inappropriate toxic waste disposal, and the decimation of views of the historical Cottonera and the Grand Harbour by a jack-up oil rig which has been parked at the shipyard for the past 4 years.


In open letters earlier this year, the coalition had requested Government’s intervention in the addressing of these serious shortcomings before a joint venture between Palumbo and MSC was allowed to go ahead (the shipyard is public land leased to the Palumbo Group in a parliamentary concession in 2010). However, in spite of a series of meetings with various Government officials, none of these issues were addressed. An EPRT hearing about Palumbo’s inappropriate toxic waste disposal, which has been left pending since 2016, is yet to be scheduled. Despite this, the joint venture - which will exacerbate the grave issues, as the first MSC ship in for repairs demonstrates - went ahead with the government’s blessing.


Following the authorities’ indifference to these issues with the running of the shipyard which is having increasingly negative ramifications on the local community, as well as the nation’s heritage and the environment - the coalition hopes that a serious investigation by the Ombudsman’s office will follow, in the interests of the quality of life of the surrounding communities.


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Koalizzjoni ta’ NGOs tappella għal reviżjoni pubblika u regularizzazzjoni tal-operazzjonijiet ta’ Palumbo
Koalizzjoni ta’ residenti u NGOs ressqu lment quddiem l-ombudsman b’talba għal reviżjoni pubblika tat-tarzna tal-Palumbo f’Bormla.


Vapur tal-kruċieri ilu sa mill-24 ta’ Ottubru ttrakkat fit-tarzna għat-tiswija. Ħafna residenti lmentaw dwar l-emissjonijiet kostanti minn dan il-vapur, li l-magni tiegħu ilhom għaddejjin jaħdmu 24 siegħa kuljum għal dan l-aħħar xahar. In-nuqqas ta’ provvisti sabiex il-vapur ikun jista’ jiġi mqabbad malgrilja elettrika tal-port - u li wassal biex dan il-vapur ikollu jibqa’ għaddej il-ħin kollu jaħdem - huwa waħda minn bosta kwistjonijiet serji marbuta mal-operat tat-tarzna. Kwistjonijiet oħra, li l-NGOs appellaw lill-ombudsman biex jinvestiga, jinkludu n-nuqqas ta’ trasparenza dwar il-kundizzjonijiet tax-xogħol tal-impjegati tat-tarzna u l-konformità mal-kundizzjonijiet stipulati fil-konċessjoni tal-gvern.


Barra minn dan, l-NGOs semmew u kkundannaw in-nuqqas ta’ azzjoni rigward r-rimi ta’ skart tossiku mhux xieraq u l-mod kif il-veduti storiċi tal-Kottonera u l-Port il-Kbir ġew sfreġjati minn rigg taż-żejt tat-tip jack-up li ilu pparkjat fit-tarzna għal dawn l-aħħar 4 snin.


F’ittri miftuħa aktar kmieni din is-sena, il-koalizzjoni kienet talbet l-intervent tal-Gvern biex jindirizza dawn in-nuqqasijiet serji; dan qabel ma tħalliet tidħol fis-seħħ impriża konġunta bejn Palumbo u MSC (it-tarzna hija art pubblika mikrija lil Palumbo Group permezz ta’ konċessjoni parlamentari fl-2010).


Madankollu, minkejja serje ta’ laqgħat ma’ diversi uffiċjali tal-Gvern, l-ebda minn dawn ilkwistjonijiet ma ġew indirizzati. Smigħ tal-EPRT dwar ir-rimi ta’ skart tossiku mhux xieraq minn Palumbo li tħalla pendenti sa mill-2016, għadu jrid jiġi skedat. Minkejja dan, l-impriża konġunta - li se tkompli taggrava dawn il-kwistjonijiet serjissimi, kif qed juri tajjeb l-ewwel vapur tal-MSC li ġie għat-tiswija - tħalliet issir bil-benedizzjoni tal-gvern.


Wara l-indifferenza tal-awtoritajiet fil-konfront ta’ dawn il-kwistjonijiet fir-rigward tal-operat tat-tarzna - li aktar ma jgħaddi ż-żmien aktar qed ikollha ramifikazzjonijiet negattivi fuq il-komunità lokali, kif ukoll fuq il-wirt storiku u l-ambjent tal-pajjiż - il-koalizzjoni qed tittama li issa ssir investigazzjoni serja mill-uffiċċju tal-Ombudsman, fl-interess tal-kwalità tal-ħajja tal-komunitajiet tal-madwar.