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IMPERIUM
Norman Lowell
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2016, 07:30:04 PM »

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2016-09-14/local-news/Malta-Gozo-tunnel-a-plausible-solution-to-transport-network-challenges-Front-Favur-il-Mina-6736163782


Malta-Gozo tunnel a plausible solution to transport network challenges' - Front Favur il-Mina


Front Favur Il-Mina has said that it concurs with what the PN Leader Simon Busuttil said yesterday during National Youth Parliament that problems and challenges relating to the national transport network need to be addressed with a long term plan.

"A national underground connecting Malta and Gozo is a plausible solution to address this. Thus a tunnel connecting Malta and Gozo, which in and of itself should already be considered as a national project, may possibly be the start of a series of developments leading to a national underground system," a statement read.

"Currently every year over 4.6 million passengers cross between Malta and Gozo. Regardless, Front Favur Il-Mina is open to the exploration of any ideas which may be discussed, regarding a holistic national transport system".

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Linking the islands through a tunnel, even if feasible - (which it is not because of the fault) -
would destroy the mystique, the character of Gozo and turn it into the jungle that Malta has become.
The ferry service could be improved, but should remain.

As to a National Underground Transport System, the chance to do this was just after Independence.
GBOlivier just didn't have the imagination, the vision for this venture - he was too parochial.
It could have been finished in a year, Malta being almost all soft limestone.

The huge drill bits would have dug easily, like a hot knife through butter - two tunnels: West & East bound.
The traffic problem could have been solved, easily and cheaply through the Issue of a Govt Transport Malta bond  - or a soft loan over 20 years from a consortium of Banks, both local and overseas.
The project would have amply paid for itself - and Malta missed its chance to remain a Paradise Island.

Today, this Underground Transport System could still be done - there has been "ground breaking" technology by the Swiss for such tunnels.
Moreover, Arcologies or huge Towers housing thousands, could be grouped where Mosta now stands.
Only buildings pre-dating 1800 would be left standing - the rubbish that came later, bulldozed.

Living in these energy renewable, self-sustaining Arcologies, would be a privilege.
Inexpensive, safe, with gorgeous views right up to Sicily - even il Gahan Malti would vie to live there.
And as people move in, the empty space created, would be turned into Agricultural Land.

We of Imperium Europa would implement such a policy - turning the Island to its former, pristine beauty.
Europe, our Europe would heartily invest billions - for it knows the Spiritual power of Melita.
We only have to have Imperium Europa in Brussels - E una battaglia di Cultura.



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« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 07:37:00 PM by IMPERIUM » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2016, 09:58:32 AM »

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160928/local/malta-gozo-tunnel-study-superficial-expert.626316


Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 07:49 by Keith Micallef

Malta-Gozo tunnel study ‘superficial’ - expert
'Tender defeats study's fundamental purpose'


An expert has expressed serious doubts on the geological study tender issued by the government on the proposed Malta-Gozo tunnel, branding it a “superficial” exercise which may have safety and budget implications.

“This so-called geological study devised by Transport Malta is very disappointing. The methodology and approach proposed is insufficient and characterised by unacceptable shortcuts when compared to geological studies for tunnels in other countries, such as Norway [considered a world-leader in this field],” geologist Peter Gatt told the Times of Malta yesterday.

It is a very superficial approach, and the amount of information which will be derived from it will be “very limited”, he added.

Dr Gatt was contacted after he raised concerns on his Facebook account in the wake of last week’s announcement that Transport Malta had issued a tender to gather geological data on the sub-surface of the channel between Malta and Gozo. The study aims to determine the feasibility of the tunnel project.
Asked for its reaction, Transport Malta said  Scandinavian research institute Sintef – with over 30 years’ experience in sub-sea tunnelling – had been commissioned to provide technical and advisory services on the project.
“Their tunnelling experience in Norway puts them in the forefront at providing advisory services for large infrastructural projects and will definitely be of benefit for the cost-effectiveness of the project,” TM said.
Are we sure it is the safest, as well as the most cost-effective?
In his criticism, the geologist pointed out that the study would involve the drilling of nine boreholes 175 metres below sea level, which was deeper than the drilling proposed in a preliminary report by Mott Macdonald in 2011.
While the purpose of this fresh study is to discover the least costly and safest route for the tunnel, the tender defeats that fundamental purpose, Dr Gatt said.
“The location of boreholes strongly suggests that TM has already decided on a particular route for the tunnel. On what grounds has this route been selected? Are we sure it is the safest, as well as the most cost-effective?” he asked.
Furthermore, the terms of reference of the tender indicate the intention to excavate the tunnel through Lower Coralline limestone, which according to Dr Gatt poses a number of problems, as it is the least known.
“It includes a particular 50 metre layer which is unrepresented in the geological map of Malta. The information available dates back some 50 years and was obtained during studies conducted by the British. It is now partly outdated,” he warned.
Dr Gatt also raised questions on the list of key experts being requested in the tender document, as it does not include a geologist, but a civil engineer and an engineer.
“One cannot imagine how an engineer can produce a geological model, as required by the tender,” he said.
Dr Gatt called for the setting up of a national geological service with a remit to carry out research and gather information, in line with many other countries.
He said such an entity would have been of great help in a project like this. “We are going from an insufficient geological study to applications for a tunnel, which requires detailed geological knowledge. The consequences will be reflected in increased cost and greater risk to lives. Gozitans and Maltese deserve better,” Dr Gatt said.
Meanwhile, similar doubts were also expressed by Front Ħarsien ODZ. The NGO said yesterday that the tender had raised a number of questions.
In its reply, Transport Malta said the borehole alignment for the tender had been suggested by Sintef on the strength of the existing studies and information available to date.
The authority invited local scientists and foreign consortia to partner in the process for the project to move forward.

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An idea concocted by a Gozitan minister within the old Gonzi gang.
An idea dreamed of just before a General Election as an Electoral gimmick -
now carried on by the Squalids, again for Electoral purposes.

A National Joke costing time and millions of Euros - and all for nothing.
The fault in between the islands would force a Tunnel TANGA!
Malta, led by a bunch of clowns.



00409
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2017, 10:01:11 AM »

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170513/opinion/Endangering-Buskett.647825


Saturday, May 13, 2017, 00:01 by Alfred Baldacchino

Endangering Buskett


Buskett is a Tree Protection Area, with some trees protected for their antiquity, a scheduled woodland, an Area of Ecological Importance, a Site of Scientific Importance, a Site of European Importance, a Special Area of Conservation, a Bird Protection Area, and above all an EU Natura 2000 site.
Yet, to date Buskett has never been professionally managed, especially on the lines of EU obligations. Never. There is absolutely no will, no vision, and no professional commitment. To the extent that a past environment minister was made to believe that Buskett is a garden. There were plans to transform this important ecological habitat into a ‘quality garden’ on the lines eventually implemented at the Mdina Ditch.
One would have thought that this was just a political flash in the pan by a gullible politician who was taken in by those with commercial interests. But to this day, professional environmental responsibilities still have not reached the level of Cabinet’s political acumen.
As an EU member, Malta had to have management plans implemented for all Natura 2000 sites by six years after accession. This deadline was not met.
Following public consultations, later approved by the government, and boasted about by the incumbent Minister for the Environment, management plans are not yet implemented, and it seems they will never be.
A recent visit to Buskett revealed the complete political failure, lack of professionalism and irresponsibility with regards to the management of this important EU Natura 2000 site.
An extensive area of maquis was recklessly bulldozed and obliterated to enable the restoration of a rubble wall. While the restoration of rubble walls is necessary, and those in hand are being professionally built, this can never justify the massacre of flora and fauna: habitat and species of European importance.
I wandered around Buskett and I could see piles of earth and stones dumped on sensitive habitats: habitats important for rare and endangered species, all listed in the data sheets sent to the EU to justify the importance of such a Special Area of Conservation of European Interest.
It is heartbreaking to see two protected and rare hawthorn trees that
were chopped from ground level to make way for machinery, earth and stone dumping. A rare protected ash tree was heavily butchered.
Unfortunately European Union funds are being mismanaged, endangering an important sensitive habitat which according to EU legislation, the Minister for the Environment is obliged to protect on behalf of Malta and the EU.
According to the EU Habitats Directive (article 6.3), an appropriate assessment has to be drawn up for any plan or project not directly connected with, or necessary to the management of a Natura 2000 site, but which is likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects. Such an appropriate assessment is needed to highlight the implications for the site in view of its conservation objective.
The national competent authority for the EU Habitats Directive (the Environment and Resource Authority – ERA) shall eventually endorse the plan or project only after having ascertained that the conclusions of such assessment regarding the implications for the SAC will not adversely affect the integrity of the SAC concerned. ERA is also obliged, if appropriate, to obtain the opinion of the general public.
Can the minister publish the appropriate assessment made (naturally if it has been done), which enabled the ERA board to approve such works in this important Natura 2000 site?
If not available, then ERA approved such works blindfolded, which is very irresponsible, or else the ministry is in complete darkness of its responsibility, and its personnel is on a wild unmonitored spree to obliterate a delicate natural habitat just to restore a rubble wall. Ironically, posters at Buskett advertise these works as an EU-funded Life Saving Project.
Considering the fact that the minister’s Environment and Resource Authority board is made up of the cream of the crop of Maltese academics, such officially approved ecological damage with EU funds is worse than one can image, both from a professional, an administrative and a political point of view.
It reminds me of the massacre of 60 established olive trees on the university campus, where no one batted an eye. We now have to suffer this ecological destruction in a Special Area of Conservation of national and European importance. Seems that academic qualifications today at best are of secondary importance when one sits on a political board.
Have we reached a stage where the destruction of the environment and the ecosystem has achieved virtual academic qualifications, approved not only by politicians but also by the top academic institution of this unfortunate country that seems to sit and tacitly approve?
This is a glaring declaration of total failure of the ministry’s obligations with regards to the protection of the environment. It seems that the latest environment ministers, one from either side of the local political hegemony, are competing among themselves as to who is the most committed to the destruction of biodiversity.
It would do no harm to remind, once again, the environmental promise contained in the 2013 electoral manifesto:
“The Environment and Resources Authority... will focus more specifically on the conservation, protection and amelioration of the environment and resources while undertaking also the responsibility of the important role of an environmental regulator, which presently our country does not have.”
A visit to Buskett where this EU Natura 2000 site is being endangered by EU funds, shows not only how an environmental regulator did never exist in the past, but also how the present one is working diametrically opposite to what has been promised and contrary to national and international obligations. Not only is it not functioning, but it is officially involved in such ecological damage.
The minister has gone on record as saying that he has a “sound environmental policy”. Buskett Natura 2000 site, shows the lack of a will to protect biodiversity, as promised, all the result of such a “sound environmental policy”.
 
Alfred Baldacchino is a former assistant director of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s environment directorate.
 

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00505
The Golden Dawn
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 04:23:39 PM »

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170518/local/oldest-marsascala-building-has-no-outstanding-features-says-cultural.648288

Unworthy people indeed. Three quarters of the current Maltese population don't even deserve to be called Maltese, let alone live here. They'd be so much better off placed in a jungle of empty high rises such as Panama, China, or the Emirates...as seems to be the current fad!
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