Birżebbuġa residents are to be offered a grant of up to €2,000 for double glazing as part of a government drive to reduce the inconvenience of noise pollution from the nearby freeport.

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi told a press conference that Birżebbuġa’s residents had suffered throughout the years due to industrial activity in the area.

He said around 150 houses in 33 streets would be eligible for the grant from October. The government is allocating €300,000 towards it.

It will cover 90 per cent of the installation costs, will be funded by the Malta Freeport Corporation and the Tourism Ministry.

Dr Mizzi described the scheme as an important step to help address the challenges faced by residents and said it may be extended.

He also pointed out that Malta Freeport will be investing in cranes that make less noise.

The minister said Birżebbuġa gave an important contribution to the economy over the years.

He said the switch to a gas-fired power station and the de-commissioning of fuel storage tanks in the locality had helped to reduce air pollution.

Once refurbishment of Ħas-Saptan has been completed, the old fuel storage tanks there would also be decomissioned, the minister continued.

The minister fired off a list of other social initiatives that had been taken in Birżebbuġa, including a new skate park.

Plans are also in the pipeline for a new garden by the Freeport, which the minister described as a natural boundary between the Freeport and residents. A new car park will also be built.

Dr Mizzi said a new promenade would prove to be the envy of Malta. He said the aim was to ultimately also attract tourists to the area.

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