Gzira Mayor Conrad Borg Manche’ is vowing to fight on against controversial plans to relocate a petrol station to a section of the popular Council of Europe Garden.
Speaking to The Shift on Tuesday, Borg Manche’, who also serves as the chairman of Ambjent Malta, said the fight against the “obscene” plans and the machinations at play behind the scenes goes on unabated.
A petition the Gzira Local Council launched at the beginning of August has now surpassed the 6,000 mark, but the mayor is still looking for “much more” support.
In the meantime, a court case by the Council against the Lands Authority last May, in which it is asking the courts to reverse the Lands Authority’s highly controversial decision to grant some 1,000 square meters of the garden – the crowded locality’s only green lung – continues on Thursday.
The Lands Authority’s lawyer in the case is Labour Party President Ramona Attard.
In a scathing social media post launching a petition against the relocation, Borg Manche’, who was elected as Gzira’s mayor on the Labour Party ticket, revealed how scientific studies conducted by the Council found the garden is destined to become a practical no-go zone because of the petrol station’s dangerous, carcinogenic fumes.
“This permit was pushed moved forward by those who are supposed to see that such atrocities are not committed, but it seems they do not care about the people and our children,” Borg Manche said at the time.
Borg Manche is adamant that through the new petition and the ongoing battle against the relocation, “the whole truth will prevail” and “those who worked for this atrocity will pay for their actions”.
The Shift has previously reported how the Lands Authority had summarily informed the Gzira Local Council that around 1,000 square metres of the seafront garden are to be allocated to the Manuel Island Service Station, which at present lies just 100 metres from Gzira’s last remaining area of greenery.
The petrol station is owned by businessman Simon Muscat. Through another company, Cubed Turnkey Projects Ltd, Muscat and his partners have received numerous direct orders for work connected to the same Authority.
Such work included the refurbishment of the Auberge de Beviere in Valletta, the same government entity’s headquarters.