Updated: Mepa investigating uprooting of carob tree
A mature carob tree reputed to be over 100 years old has uprooted by workers in San Gwann to the disgust of residents.
A spokesman for Mepa said this afternoon it had been informed of the incident by some residents and it immediately stopped the works to investigate.
Environmentalist Alan Deidun said that the tree was presumably pulled down during works connected to the interconnector project.
He said that when confronted by shocked residents, the staff operating the machinery on site stated that the tree would be relocated. This, he said, was next to impossible, seeing how it had been butchered.
Dr Deidun said the workers also stated they had permits in hand - however, when confronted by residents, they started faltering.
He asked if the trenches - in Triq il-Baltiku, corner with Triq il-Bies, overlooking Wied l-Ghomor - could have been relocated by a few metres to spare the tree, if they were in fact connected to the interconnector project.
Since the interconnector was being partly funded by the EU, the union should ensure that its funds were not used to wreak environmental damage, he said adding that this was one of his proposals as an MEP candidate in 2009.
Dr Deidun hoped that the maximum fees in relation to such environmental liability were applied in full and that a modicum of rectification is applied.
Giving an example he said that at least 10 indigenous mature trees could be planted close to the same site, which was close to the scheduled Wied l-Ghomor valley.
“Has the legislation regarding environmental liability come into force in Malta, transposing the mother EU directive? If yes, this could be a perfect example where it could be applied by Mepa to punish the perpetrator, he said.