The Malta Independent 20 March 2019, Wednesday

PD says Gozo tunnel plans surging ahead without serious planning

Friday, 4 January 2019, 10:40 Last update: about 3 months ago

2019 seems to herald one big rush for the sub-seabed 13 km Malta-Gozo tunnel, Partit Demokratiku said in a statement. Government’s electoral mandate in favour of the project is surging ahead with the preparations to issue a call for tenders, despite the lack of due process, serious feasibility studies, and the environmental impact that will affect Eco-Gozo.

MEP candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott stated, “It is very clear that the general public is not fully conversant with what the project entails, how much it would cost, and what other projects could be accomplished using the same funds. Although, at first glance, a permanent link may look feasible, the crux of the matter is that the technical implementation process has already been initiated with a false start. This has become a hallmark of this government. Why the hurry? Why has government not engaged in discourse?”

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MEP candidate Dr Anthony Buttigieg said: “I fear that it is because a contract for land reclamation will be coming out soon. It has to. And the real reason for it is not the Gozo tunnel, but because the upcoming mega projects and high end real estate have to have a depot where construction waste could be disposed of if they had to materialize. In reality the tunnel project will produce only a small fraction of the construction waste that will be produced by projects approved or in the pipeline. It is a red herring masking the true reason for land reclamation.”

Partit Demokratiku asks: Does serving the well-known names of the selected business community serve the general public?

Successive governments have failed to carefully plan a strategic way forward. If the present rate of unsustainable development is kept, our landfills will be reach saturation point in no time. Malta has reached its carrying capacity. This fast economic process based on development cannot be upheld forever, PD said.

“We are living in an era where government’s short-sightedness fails to realize that economic growth and development are not directly proportional to quality of life or our wellbeing,” states Martin Cauchi Inglott. “Our natural environment, architectural heritage and culture carry an undefined economic price too. Ignoring them and pushing projects whose costs underestimate the potential socio-political costs will not be beneficial for Malta.”

Partit Demokratiku said that it is high time that we direct our economic progress sensibly so that prosperity is guaranteed.

 

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