Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
A considerable amount of development in and around private fields lining a newly reconstructed multi-million-euro road leading to Nadur in Gozo has been carried out without permits.
The Shift can confirm that while the government-funded project on Triq l-Imġarr was taking place, work in private fields was concurrently being carried out using the road builder’s heavy plant machinery.
The work in question included long stretches of new rubble walls, wide ramps, concreted rural passageways, agricultural stores, water reservoirs, and work on soil levels.
Although the road project’s costs have soared from the budgeted €8 million to almost €14 million, and with more bills in the pipeline, the Gozo Ministry categorically denies any private work was carried out using public funds earmarked for the road reconstruction.
But many in Gozo have seen the same road contractor carry the piecemeal work without permits on private land. Aerial photos of the project published by the Gozo Ministry also show the concurrent work.
But when asked whether the ministry was involved in the illegal works in any way, a spokesperson vehemently denied the ministry had given any authorisation or payment for them.
But the problem is that it is difficult to determine who authorised or paid for the work on the sections of private land because, since they did not have a permit, no development applications were filed at the Planning Authority.
The ministry is also not explaining how the project costs, awarded by tender to Road Construction Ltd for €8 million, have already reached €13.6 million, with more outstanding bills.
“The ministry confirms in the most certain and unequivocal of terms (sic) that it has not carried out works on behalf of any private owners or individuals,” the spokesperson insisted.
Most of the fields in question are owned by Gozitan part-time farmers.
“Additionally,” the spokesperson said, “the ministry has not paid and nor does it intend to pay for any work as may have been carried out in the private rooms highlighted by The Shift.
“Works on these rooms, if any, were clearly carried out by private individuals to the exclusion of the ministry.”
During the road’s four-year construction, contracted to Road Construction Limited, the only machinery on site and the surrounding private land belonged to the company carrying out the road work.
A series of coincidences
The reconstruction of the main road leading to Nadur had been on the cards for years, and work started in 2018 through a ministry tender awarded to Road Construction Limited.
The company has regularly received direct orders worth millions of euros from both Labour and Nationalist administrations.
Road Construction Limited was awarded a tender (CT2182/2019) for the reconstruction and resurfacing of Triq l-Imġarr for just under €8 million.
While work had begun in the time of former Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana, her successor Clint Camilleri immediately changed the project’s architect to Andrew Ellul, the husband of former Planning Authority permits boss Elizabeth Ellul.
The project has taken more than four years and is still ongoing. Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri recently told parliament that costs so far have amounted to €13.6 million without explaining how the project’s budget was overrun by €5.6 million.
This follows the recent “Scam payment” made by the Education department. Bills paid without verification, otherwise the dirt is stirred and the minister blows his top. So just pay and shut up. The minister will not give any breakdowns of costs. Rosianne Cutajar style secret of state bullshit.
If it’s a tender, shouldn’t the contractor be responsible for anything above and beyond the price quoted in the tender?
I wonder what the PA is doing or will do regarding these blatant irregularities.
My guess is nothing or approving them.
Prosit ROSIANNE CUTAJAR KULHADD JITHANZER
This is an exact repeat of the pool contract, so far price has more than doubled..and it is still not finished
These overruns should be audited by the NAO and paid only if approved through justifiable public costings .
Another job for the Audit Office!
Go get these scumbags please!!!
They need to be thrown out!
Hu kundannabbli dan l-agir tal-Ghawdxin li ssibu biss fit-tielet dinja. Hu kundannabbli izjed ghax xi mkien il-Ministeru hu involut… anki jekk bl-inazzjoni tieghu.
Min jithanzer l’aktar. L’ewwel li ma jitanzru il-hniezer imbaghad il-griewi halli kullhadd ikun kuntent. SERQ. U WARA IMMORU NGHOLLU L-QADDISIN U L’ISTATWI FIL-FESTI U IL-GIMGHA IL-KBIRA. FARIZEJ ala KOMUNIZMU.