On the dot


Why is it that whenever bowsers are called in to supply water to commercial or other entities, there is so much wastage? Rivulets of water may be seen flowing downhill whenever this operation takes place. When the streets are relatively flat, pools of water collect, taking a long time to dry. This is both wasteful and dangerous.


Much ado is made about the fact that restoration works are to be undertaken, are underway or have been completed. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no ongoing concern about how public places look. This attitude survives until it is obvious that there is a need for action... and then the public-relations exercises begin.


It would be interesting to find out whether the incidence of childhood asthma in areas such as Marsa and the surrounding towns and villages has decreased or increased over the last five years. There is a palpable change in the air when one goes through these places. Residents have lately been complaining yet again of the film of soot that permeates every corner of their homes.


Another area of concern is the occasional puffs of black smoke emanating from the chimney stacks at St Luke's Hospital. Unless these are thoroughly dismantled forthwith it will be hard to convince the public that the system is no longer in use.


It is indeed a pity that the retaining walls of the majestic parvis of the Mosta Rotunda have been allowed to get into such a state. Moreover, something really ought to be done about the amount of graffiti on the wall between the entrance and the main doorway of the church. Is it possible that there is no funds available for some anti-graffiti paint? A CCTV camera would not go amiss, either; it might deter people from vandalism.


A leader on St George's Bay that appeared on The Times last week was soon followed up by the powers-that-be which ensured two police officers are stationed there. Well done. What about some action now by the English language schools and, more so, by the business community in the locality? Are they only interested in making money!


Deliveries of gas cylinders are made mostly during the mornings, when people are at work. This means that residents might have to leave cylinders with a neighbour. An alternative is to leave the cylinder in the porch, with payment, and hope the delivery man sees it and that the cylinder or the money is taken. What about a nationwide service on Saturdays because not everyone is in a position to go and purchase a cylinder from designated selling points?


One may always opt to carry an empty cylinder in the car and flag down a passing distributor. Some of these refuse to do business on someone else's turf but others find no objection in doing so. As a result, traffic is held up while the transaction takes place, as happened last Wednesday in Fleur-de-Lys at about 9.30a.m.


In the Park-and-Ride area in Floriana there is a huge, decrepit, hangar-like building that serves no discernable purpose. Access to its interior is relatively easy, if one is so inclined. Since it is in danger of collapsing, this building should either be demolished or repaired and used for a suitable purpose.


This column has complained several times about the way the palm weevil problem was tackled. It is patently obvious that plants standing in the gardens of uninhabited houses were not registered. The process of chopping the fronds and part of the trunk off and covering what remained standing with black garbage bags was not too successful, either. In order for the assault on the palms to come to an end, stricter measures have to be taken and soon.


News bulletins often carry items about how caches of drugs would have been discovered and confiscated. There is no follow-through of these stories, detailing how the illegal substances would have been destroyed. It is both useless and silly for the public to ask for their incineration to be done in public because this would, inter alia, be a cause of pollution. However, the public deserves to know more.


The centre strip running from the general area of the Maria Addolorata cemetery up to Santa Luċija roundabout was left incomplete. This allows cars coming from different directions to slice across the uphill street without having to go all the way up or down to a roundabout, saving a great deal of time since both ways are usually traffic-laden. Yet, there are many near misses, which are not helped by the fact that pedestrians usually decide to cross when they see traffic slowing down in order to allow a car coming from the opposite direction to pass.


The Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin reports that several grades in the public health division (nursing aides, care workers, paramedic aides, assistant care workers, health assistants) will have the opportunity to further their studies and that certain benefits will be accorded to their status. One hopes that, similarly, terms and conditions will be applied to their training for a nursing diploma, such that studies would not be merely an alternative to work.


It would be a fine thing were this version of study leave to be made available to other grades in the public service too. There must be several people who are at a phase in their life where they feel they could achieve the level of schooling they did not acquire when they were younger.


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