The NGO Futur Ambjent Wieħed is calling on the environment watchdog to take immediate action and have the “Wied Qirda illegal damage remedied”.

The controversial asphalting was carried out recently in a country road at the Żebbuġ valley, prompting the locality’s council to call on Infrastructure Malta to stop works as they threatened the ecology of this rural area.

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The council insisted that in order to respect the rural characteristics of its surroundings, the road should not be widened or surfaced with asphalt. Instead, the road should be surfaced with another material that would allow access to vehicles without endangering the ecology of the valley. 

Futur Ambjent Wieħed’s founder Claire Bonello has meanwhile written to Environment and Resources Authority’s chair Victor Axiak, asking him to take action in line with legislation about the prevention and remedying of environmental damage.

The area has been flagged by the planning policy as one of ecological importance within the valley protection zone

She said aerial shots showed that asphalting was not limited to one path. The area has been flagged by the planning policy as one of ecological importance within the valley protection zone, and asphalting was harmful to the ecology and biodiversity of the area, she added.

Earlier this week, independent Żebbuġ councillor Steve Zammit Lupi described the project by Infrastructure Malta as “environmental rape”. 

He said that works were carried out without a development permit and that in certain areas the width of the road had trebled with complete disregard to the flora and fauna of the area.