A meeting was held last Tuesday between the Minister for Gozo, Hon Clint Camilleri, Mr Mario Borg, CEO of Gozo regional Development Authority and Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex to discuss the Marsalforn Road Reconstruction Project. Discussions have been underway for a number of weeks to find solutions to detailed concerns that have been put forward by Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex and the environmentally-conscious public.
Minister Camilleri stated his commitment and openness to achieve consensus and to incorporate proposals by Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex to achieve a more sensitive design which will retain the road’s scenic character, minimizing the amount of agricultural land taken, loss of trees and the risk to valley watercourses while reducing traffic in central Rabat through the planned bypass, ensuring road safety and reducing the overall cost of the project.
Mr Mario Borg stated that revising this project to minimise loss of valuable agricultural land while addressing other concerns to improve accessibility and alleviate traffic from Victoria centre goes hand in hand with the proposed Regional Development Strategy for Gozo as proposed by the GRDA.
On behalf of Din l-Art Ħelwa Għawdex, President Alex Torpiano expressed the NGO’s appreciation to the Minister and his technical consultants for their positive and constructive approach in seeking better solutions to meet the concerns of all stakeholders, and to ensure the project is carried out within a holistic approach with minimum environmental impact while catering for the real needs of Gozo and its community. DLĦGħ added that in light of the ongoing positive discussions the NGO has refrained from launching a Planning Appeal in good faith, and with a belief that there is a genuine commitment to solve the key issues.
Another meeting with all stakeholders is planned within the next few weeks to finalise the new plans and achieve the much-desired consensus.