The Malta Independent 3 August 2021, Tuesday

TMID Editorial: Mistra - A boulder a day keeps the caravans away

Saturday, 19 June 2021, 09:34 Last update: about 3 months ago

It may sound surreal, but it eventually took a host of massive limestone boulders to put paid to the Mistra Bay caravan saga.

The boulders were placed around the bay by Infrastructure Malta on Tuesday, in an action which – rare as it may seem – garnered praise from practically all quarters.

The reason for that is to stop caravans – many of which are an eyesore to the bay for the whole of summer – from gathering along and taking up the coastline. 

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The caravans which were still there at that point were slapped with a Transport Malta notice saying that they had to be removed within a week, or else they’d be removed by the authority itself.

This is a saga which has been going for years.  Enforcement notices from various authorities have proven to be useless, as have signs around the bay which enterprising caravan owners have simply removed right after they are placed.

The boulders are – absurd as it may sound – a more permanent and obtrusive way of getting rid of the caravans and dealing with a group of people who don’t seem to care less about that thing called the law.

The situation though does lead us to – once again – question Malta’s perennial problem of a lack of enforcement.

Should it take the placement of boulders to remove a group of unruly individuals and their caravans from a public bay and enforce the law? In a country with effective enforcement authorities: probably not.

Perhaps now as a more permanent solution, Infrastructure Malta and the related agencies aiding the enforcement process could look into the planting of trees around the bay – hence providing a more nature-friendly answer to the problem.

Make no mistake, the fact that something concrete has finally been done against this issue is positive – however enforcing against this should have come much earlier.

One augurs now that similar enforcement action can be taken in other areas which have been similarly blighted.  Areas in Marsaskala and Bahar ic-Caghaq for instance are frequently taken up by caravans, while there is little need for introduction when it comes to the issue of illegal boathouses.

What about the caravan owners, however, one may ask.

They should – as has already been mentioned by the Environment Ministry – be granted a dedicated area which can be used specifically for camping with caravans; an area with all the necessary amenities set up for them and with an adjoining entry cost like with any other campsite around the island.

With that, a balance can then be achieved: caravan owners will be able to enjoy their time in a suitable place, while public land is not taken up illegally by the few over the many.

 

 

 

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