The Malta Independent 8 December 2021, Wednesday

Aaron Farrugia promises ‘all necessary studies’ before metro project

Giuseppe Attard Saturday, 9 October 2021, 07:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia promised that “all necessary environmental studies would be conducted” before the metro project is given the go-ahead.

The government last week proposed a metro project that will cost around €6.2 billion and take 15 to 20 years to complete. In total there would be three lines and the first phase of the project could be operational within the first five to eight years.

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Answering questions by The Malta Independent, Farrugia said that “the metro project is still at a concept stage. The government is in discussion with the Maltese population.”

He also said that “as is with every project, especially a project of this magnitude, procedure states that studies have to be made especially those concerning the environment.”

Farrugia went on to explain that the metro project is important for Malta to reach environmental targets before their deadline. “The metro project would reduce emissions greatly in the streets and also improve the quality of life.”

Concern was raised that certain metro stations would be built in public gardens or urban green, such as the case in Balzan, Birkirkara, Mosta and Naxxar. The Malta Independent asked Farrugia whether this would mean a reduction in green areas in these localities.

Farrugia said that the plans for the metro are still in their infancy stage and without a doubt the plans will change, but one has to take note that with an efficient metro system, the number of cars will be reduced from our streets which would lead to more pedestrian zones and streets which could reach their green initiatives potential.

Looking at the bigger picture does not mean that the green areas would be affected but a lot of important environmental milestones would be reached with the metro project, Farrugia said.

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