Mosta residents are furious that they were not consulted over plans to turn their residential road into a temporary access route for PAMA supermarket.

Residents living close to the supermarket said they first learned of the move earlier this month when they saw a section of wall running down the side of Triq il-Waqqafa behind PAMA supermarket being knocked down.

While they have since received assurances that it is only a four-month measure and that the wall will be closed off again afterwards, they remain opposed.

They worry the resulting traffic will lead to noise and pollution and make accessing garages on the road and others nearby a nightmare and have safety concerns about the number of cars passing through an area that is also home to a football club and a childcare centre.

Resident Carmen Farrugia questioned why PAMA seemed to be receiving special treatment from the authorities.

“It’s not a hospital or fire station, this is just a regular business. Why should we suffer? When the road in front of Smart Supermarket was being worked on, they didn’t open a different road,” she said.

“The traffic that PAMA has created is a nightmare... they said that by opening the road on our [residential] side, they will reduce traffic on Valletta Road. But that’s not our problem.

“It’s not that we’re against PAMA, many people in the area buy from there. But we’re a residential area – it’s going to be chaos here,” she said.

But, with upcoming Infrastructure Malta roadworks due to close off one of PAMA’s existing access roads on nearby Triq Pantar and Transport Malta signing off, the plan looks set to go ahead.

If the residents don’t have a problem with it, we have no objection but if they refuse, the council is with them.- Mosta Mayor Christopher Grech

Mosta mayor Christopher Grech said he was “surprised” that neither residents nor the local council had been consulted on the move beforehand.

While he said Infrastructure Malta CEO Ivan Falzon had been in contact soon after to reassure residents and the council that there were “no hidden agendas” behind the move, Grech stressed the council was ready to support the residents.

“If the residents don’t have a problem with it, we have no objection but if they refuse, the council is with them,” he said.

Pama reaction

On Thursday afternoon, PAMA in a reaction, told Times of Malta  that the road works had been requested by Infrastructure Malta and not by the supermarket, and that the works were needed to install a water calvert and replace electricity cables on Triq Pantar. 

PAMA deputy CEO Malcolm Camilleri added that the supermarket would also be impacted by the diversion, with traffic bound for elsewhere running through its site. 

When asked why the supermarket had not instead chosen to use an adjacent plot of land next to the store for the access road as suggested by the Mosta mayor, Camilleri said it would not have been feasible as access would have still been required from Triq il-Pantar - which he said would be completely closed during the works.

Last week, officials from Transport Malta, Infrastructure Malta and PAMA signed a joint declaration stressing the works were temporary, estimated to last four months, and that the area would return to its current state afterwards.

Officials also promised to station two traffic wardens at the temporary entrance daily between 8am and 8pm.

According to the declaration, the access point on Triq il-Waqqafa will open to supermarket customers on March 27.

A plan of the diversions required because of the closure of Triq Pantar.A plan of the diversions required because of the closure of Triq Pantar.



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