The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Road works need to be better planned

Sunday, 25 February 2024, 06:43 Last update: about 3 months ago

Alexander Mangion

‘You cannot make an omelette without cracking a few eggs,’ the old adage goes. True, sometimes, to achieve a good thing, you might need to sacrifice something else and perhaps go through some time of hardship, but hopefully the end result will be worth the while.

So, it is only fair that if we want newer, better streets in our localities, we have to contend with the inconvenience of ongoing works. However currently this government has completely lost the plot in this regard and the situation seems to have slipped out of hand.

Practically in all localities around Malta and Gozo, road works have characterised every street and square, making life for residents an absolute misery. Everything is constantly coated in dust, noise from heavy duty machinery breaks the peace at all waking hours, and guessing one’s route to get from point A to point B, has now practically become a national sport.

Triq Victor Vassallo which crosses most of Attard, and is home to hundreds of families, has been one uninterrupted moon-scape for the best part of a year now. The project was supposed to be finished and inaugurated by now, but the works are still ongoing, and I use this word very generously, as it has been a while since anyone has spotted a worker doing a day’s work on the project.

The Attard local council, within which I serve as deputy mayor, has already met with Infrastructure Malta as we raised residents’ concerns about the prolonged works. We shed light on the hardships residents have been enduring, the loss of business that our shops are suffering, and the general inconvenience of the ongoing works.

All of this was presented to the responsible government agency in the form of a report which was drawn up by our architect. Unfortunately, Infrastructure Malta has not provided any feedback about it, and are not even in a position to declare an expected date when the project will be concluded.

It is this sort of instability that angers residents. The open, organic way important infrastructural projects are carried out. When residents are told that they will need to contend with dust, noise, and inconvenience for six months, they brace themselves for the ride, and most of the time it would be fine. No one is unreasonable enough to expect projects happening magically without works taking place. But people expect to be treated like adults, and when promised something, it is given them.

Road works need to follow a better plan, and the wellbeing of residents needs to be taken into consideration. We cannot expect entire communities to bite the bullet and suffer in silence. We need reliable and efficient planning that respects our towns and villages.

This is far from the only street that is going through the same ordeal at the moment. Wherever you go, in almost all localities around Malta, road works have become the order of the day, with residents and businesses having to contend with the annoyance.

It seems that our country is constantly under construction, and we never seem to be ready. I do wish that one day we would stop cracking eggs and start having our omelette.

 

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