It is with great sadness that I hear about another building and home to people like you and me that collapsed dangerously close to a construction site. Miraculously again, thank God, there were no fatalities.

As usual, the contractors assured everyone that all precautions were taken and everything was above board. Tell that to the families who lost their home and had their lives turned upside down and feeling lucky just to be alive!

How long can we continue to play with fire, just so that unscrupulous people continue to line their pockets?

Two friends of mine, a 90-year-old mother and her 65 year-old-daughter living in a quiet residential area in Mosta suddenly found themselves in the centre of a construction site when their neighbouring house was brought down and rock-digging took place during the day with a small break in the afternoon. Digging then recommenced at 4pm and continued till 8pm in darkness. In fact, they continued working using spotlights. I was there one day and enquired with one of the workmen whether it was legal to dig at night wall-to-wall to other houses and he coolly replied that everything was legal and they had the blessing of the local council.

Where has simple respect for others gone? Has plain greed taken us this far?

Malta is undergoing a third great siege. The topography has been taken over by cranes. Buildings with grotesquely uneven heights dot the skyline. Developers are busily plundering Malta and now Gozo at will. Nothing is sacred anymore. Construction dust is everywhere, silently choking us. Trucks are intimidatingly everywhere. Monstrous concrete eyesores just stare you in the face wherever you go. Green areas are shrinking by the day as insatiably greedy people gobble up more of the little that is left.

I call on those people of goodwill from across the political spectrum and others who can do something about all this to put the common good first in their list of priorities and do something to stop this madness.

We too should stand up to be counted and speak out against this real siege that is taking place all around us.

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