The Għarb council has called on the authorities to take all the necessary legal measures usually taken to protect the Wied il-Mielaħ arch from damage that could be caused by an abnormal influx of visitors.

This, it said, should be done without hindering other important activities that usually took place on site.

Wied il-Mielaħ, near Għarb, is one of the quietest places in Gozo but the number of visitors have increased since the collapse of the Azure Window last week. It is home to an arch that looks like the Azure Window.

The council said it should be consulted about any action that should be taken on site since it was the most important mine of information on the area.

It said it discussed the matter during a council meeting yesterday and decided that an extensive study should be carried out for information about the arch's condition and to see what measures should be taken to protect and preserve it.

It also decided to analyse and manage traffic, that action should be taken by the police and the authorities to prevent abuse, to stick information bills about this, and to take measures for no activities to be held and for no people or vehicles to be allowed on the arch’s rocks.

It said thousands had been invested to restore Wied il-Mielaħ, which had previously been forgotten and abandoned.

It appealed to the public to visit the area, which was one of natural beauty with scenery of additional value and of significant ecological, geological and historical importance but said visitors should safeguard the important assets on site and the investment undertaken.

It called on the central government and the authorities to assist in the advertising of the site in the strongest and most adequate manner and to help keep it in good condition now more than ever as the influx of visitors had increased.

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