The environment and planning authorities will examine Infrastructure Malta’s proposals for Msida Creek and decide whether the project can be improved, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia told Times of Malta.

The project, first announced in 2019, would see the roads agency build flyovers and wider roads at the Msida junction, as well as removing traffic lights to ease congestion bottlenecks.

The proposal has faced concerted opposition from architects, NGOs and environmentalists. A group of organisations concerned about the sustainability of the project instead called for more recreational space and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians in the area.

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

They produced artist representations of the project, showing how much of the space would be transformed into a huge car park.

Asked for his comments after the launch of a paper on recreational areas, Farrugia said the Msida Creek Project was being proposed by Infrastructure Malta, in light of the work being carried out on Malta’s road network.

“IM is submitting its plans to the Planning Authority, and other authorities will pass on their recommendations and judgement about the project. I am also aware that a number of NGOs are proposing changes. One will listen, see, consult and decide,” he told Times of Malta.

Asked specifically whether his ministry will be involved in the consultation and put forward proposals for recreational spots in this area, Farrugia said the Environment and Resources Authority and PA fell within his remit.

“Once the PA receives IM’s plans for the Msida Creek, one will sit down and see whether the plan can be improved as we have done several times.

“The Central Link and the Rabat Triq Għeriexem projects were modified for the better following several meetings. So yes, that is what eventually happens,” he said.

On Monday, NGOs ROTA, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust and Friends of the Earth Malta said the Msida project has sparked concern about its long-term viability.

Instead of being turned into a grey car park buried under a tangle of flyovers, the creek could become an attractive waterfront destination and walkway linking Gżira garden to Floriana garden and even to the Valletta Waterfront, they said.

That same day, local council minority leader Charles Selvaggi said that impact studies should be made before the proposed project is approved.

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