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Two months after Tal-Barrani is widened, permit for works has yet to be issued

The project is done and dusted, but the permit is still in the pipeline

Traffic flows through Tal-Barrani Road.

Traffic flows through Tal-Barrani Road.

A planning permit to widen part of Tal-Barrani Road, in Tarxien, which was completed more than two months ago, has still to be issued, Times of Malta learned.

Transport Minister Ian Borg announced through an official statement issued by the Department of Information last July, that works on the junction connecting Tal-Barrani Road to Tarxien Road had been completed. Works had started in June. He said this was one of many other projects aimed at reducing journey time.

It has since emerged that the infrastructural works commissioned by Transport Malta were not covered by a permit.

A cutting of the Transport Ministry’s official statement announcing completion of the works at Tal-Barrani.A cutting of the Transport Ministry’s official statement announcing completion of the works at Tal-Barrani.

Earlier this week, the Planning Authority published an application submitted by architect Audrey Testaferrata de Noto to “sanction road widening and realignment” at Tal-Barrani Road.

Sources close to the planning watchdog told Times of Malta the application was connected to the job the Transport Minister had declared completed more than two months ago.

“It seems the rule of law does not apply any longer to the government,” a senior planning official commented, insisting on anonymity.

“This is not the first time the government has run roughshod over laws and proceeded with works without waiting for the permit to be issued first. What is happening in the widening of Tal-Balal Road, in San Ġwann is much worse,” he remarked.

Times of Malta reported that works at Tal-Balal are not covered by a permit, apart from infringing the rights of private property owners. During work on the project to build two new carriage ways on the road connecting Naxxar to San Ġwann, bulldozers were seen on private property without the owners being either consulted or given any sort of compensation.

“The government is acting like a bully. The authorities cannot now expect ordinary people to abide by the rules,” another planning official commented.

When contacted about the Tal-Barrani works and that a permit had yet to be issued, a Transport Malta spokesman said “this minor intervention was urgently required to reduce delays and improve junction safety along Tal-Barrani Road, which is used by thousands of road users travelling to and from the southern parts of Malta”.

No call for tenders was made for the €95,000-job. According to Transport Malta, Polidano Brothers were given the contract in line within a roadworks framework agreement struck following a previous call for tenders.

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