The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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The wasteland that is Mosta

Victor Calleja Sunday, 21 April 2024, 07:24 Last update: about 2 months ago

Nearly everyone in Malta, even their cousins long gone from here, and all those connected to the country, know that during the Second World War a bomb fell on the Mosta Dome but didn’t explode. Miracles, according to the wonderfully evolved people of Malta, definitely happen. Or at least in far-off days they did.

Nowadays miracles are slightly harder to concoct. Mosta, in fact, is the total opposite of a miracle. Not one bomb but several seem to have fallen recently in central Mosta. And they all exploded this time.

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The devastating effects of this horrific attack on the centre, the back, the sides, and the people of this once pretty town are beyond belief.

What is also beyond belief is that the original bomb was dropped by some poor fellow obeying orders from above. He – the pilot of the plane which dropped the bomb on Mosta close to a century ago – was part of a horrific war. He was, by his actions, our enemy.

The recent attack, and recent is hardly the operative word as this attack has been going on for a few years now, has been planned and executed by Mosta’s mayor and his merry band of local councillors.

The word “plan” in the paragraph above sounds odd. Because if there is one thing that this mayor and his team of planners can’t do, it is to plan. Driving through, to, or around Mosta is treacherous, body-shaking and full of surprises.

Roads, for decades one-way in a direction are magically transformed overnight to being one-way in the opposite direction. And the mayhem, the general idiocy of not knowing where you are or where you should go grows to strange and worrying proportions. If any psychiatrist wishes to find out what causes road rage, they should ask the Mosta council for guidance.

Major, as well as minor, roads are closed to traffic because works are being undertaken.

Yet you hardly see too many workers getting on with the job to finalise this project or areas of it. Obviously, there are exceptions. As some festa or other approaches, the council promises that the road the statue passes through will be completed in time for the festivities. That’s when the place is assailed by a horde of workers trying hard to finalise something so that the statue-bearers can make it without harming muscle and limb and without their lungs being engulfed in dust particles.

If driving is a nightmare, the intrepid ones could then try walking around this inferno. Or try shopping. If you want to really, really rage internally, and learn how to swear in all exotic languages, try taking a pram, a wheelchair or anything other than your feet to move around the lovely town of Mosta. The pavements, where they exist, are slippery, dirty, broken, and a threat to all pedestrians’ survival.

The dust from the roadworks, which have been going for way too long, covers a big part of the town. It’s sad to think what Mosta people who most probably pride themselves on keeping their houses spotless inside and out must be enduring.

Mosta is ravaged to an extent that, yes, only a series of miracles can restore it to its normality.

But normality in this country has totally disintegrated. The locals hardly ever say anything in public. Have any meetings, protests and public slanging matches, spontaneous or not, against the mayor and his team, ever been staged?

Has the PN as the opposition both in our national parliament and in the local council, made a huge thing of all this total disregard of how to treat residents?

The only time the PN councillors did anything which hit the spotlight was when they voted in favour – yes, they agreed with the Labour mayor – of cutting down the trees in the Mosta square. One of the few things they did, which hit the wrong headlines, was deplorable and another assault on the environment.

If living in this country wasn’t so full of tragic irony it would be wonderfully comic: one of the main objectives of the Mosta project was to pedestrianise the area around the miraculous Mosta Dome.

They paved, re-paved, closed roads, dug up pavements for long stretches, they spent oodles of cash and then they – these sad entities called the authorities – announced that that part of the project was ready to be enjoyed by all of us lucky beings.

Everyone with a modicum of intelligence must have thought that no cars, no buses and no heavy vehicles, would be allowed into the centre. That at last part of the country was going to ban cars from its core.

Surprise, surprise! All the traffic that once used the centre can still do the very same. The pedestrian zoning will happen once every so often; hopefully it will be when the mayor and his troupe decide to ask all the kind people of Mosta to come out and pelt the mayor with eggs. Yes, contrary to what some PN member of parliament claimed, it is legit, acceptable and expected that anyone in power who takes us for an unwholesome ride deserves to be pelted with eggs. And yes, if possible rotten eggs.

Mosta is in need of a glorious shakeup; it needs proper planning, proper people who have a clue how to fix things. Who have some vision.

Sadly, or rather tragically, the nightmare that is Mosta is but a metaphor for Malta, ruled by fools. These fools’ only plan is to destroy our soul, our wellbeing, our future and yet we, the bigger fools, keep choosing them as our leaders.

 

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