A group of NGOs and residents of Cottonera have sought the Ombudsman's intervention over inconvenience by the shipyard in Grand Harbour and the government's failure to act.

The coalition, which calls itself Azzjoni: Tuna Artna Lura, complained of noise from an  MSC cruise ship has been docked at the shipyard for weeks, keeping its engines running round the clock and constantly producing foul emissions.

They also called on the ombudsman to investigate the working conditions of shipyard employees and adherence to the conditions stipulated in the government agreement which handed the site to operators Palumbo.

The NGOS complained about what they described as 'inappropriate toxic
waste disposal' and the decimation of views of the historical Cottonera and the
Grand Harbour by a jack-up oil rig which has been parked at the shipyard for the
past four years.

They pointed out that they had sought the government's intervention before a joint venture between Palumbo and MSC was allowed to go ahead (the shipyard is public land leased to the Palumbo Group in a parliamentary concession in 2010).

However, in spite of a series of meetings with various government officials, none of these issues were addressed and the joint venture still went ahead. 

The NGOs hoped that a serious investigation by the Ombudsman’s office would be held in the interests of the quality of life of the surrounding communities.

The statement was signed by the Association for Justice, Equality and Peace, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Forum Komunita Bormliza, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, The Archaeological Society, The Senglea Historical Society, Zminijietna - Voice of the Left as well as independent candidate Arnold Cassola, and former Malta Drydocks chairman  Sammy Meilaq.


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