The idea of a metro system for Malta was still very high on the government’s agenda, so much so that Minister Ian Borg confirmed with TVM that a studies were in their final stages and were expected to be brought before the Prime Minister.
However, Dr Borg said that it would not be replacing the tunnel between Malta and Gozo, as proposed by the Chamber of Commerce. Asked about the proposal by the Chamber of Commerce for the government re-think the tunnel, Minister Borg said that the government was committed to undertake this project.
The idea of an underground public transport system was still part of the Government’s plans, so much so that the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ian Borg, confirmed with TVM that studies had matured to the -point where the Government had to take the next decision.
‘The reports related to mass transport especially the underground metro are in an advanced stage and I had occasion to speak briefly with the Prime Minister. But I will have the chance to make a detailed presentation, to be able to launch a public consultation about it. ‘
Minister Borg’s comments were made in the light of a call from the Chamber of Commerce urging the government to re-think the construction of a tunnel between Malta and Gozo and instead to consider a metro system with connectivity to Gozo. Dr Borg argued that one project does not exclude the other.
‘This does not preclude the promise we had with Gozo , which was linked to the electoral manifesto. The people and parliamentarians voted for it, the government and the opposition together. We will continue with its implementation.
Minister Borg said this when inaugurating infrastructural work done in Mensija Street, San Gwann, saying that this is among 130 residential roads completed by Infrastructure Malta in the first year of a seven-year project by means of a € 700 million investment made for all roads. He said that had these remained in the hands of local councils, roads like the Mensija Street which are about half a kilometre long would never have been completed because Councils did not have enough resources to do so.
Dr Borg said that work was currently underway on 50 other roads while work on 150 others will start in the coming days. He explained that this was apart from projects in main roads which were being carried out with an investment of € 64 million.
Meanwhile the Gozo Business Chamber said that while it agrees with a number of recommendations made by the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise in the document on economic vision, it does not agree that the Government should reconsider the tunnel project. It reiterated its arguments for Gozo project to reach its economic potential.