Janet Walker, who lost her Pietà residence last year as a result of construction works, has urged the authorities to seriously clamp down on construction illegalities in the wake of the latest collapse of a residential building.
“I ask the powers that be what they did to safeguard the rights of people” Walker wrote. “We don’t want spectators but strong laws. We don’t want small fines but large fines so people will be careful. Small as I may be, I joined two law students in proposing new laws, but what did you do? Who will console these people?”
A residence in Triq Joseph Abela Scolaro, Santa Venera collapsed this afternoon, with police confirming this was a result of works at a nearby construction site which is being developed by a consortium of which Mallia is a member. A search is ongoing through the rubble for a resident, who has been identified as Miriam Pace.
Last year, the collapse of Walker’s apartment, as well as two other apartments in Gwardamanġa and Mellieħa, stunned the nation and jolted the government into action, with Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg pushing forward a legal notice to regulate the construction industry.
Site technical officers must now be licensed architects or engineers, method statements and condition reports drafted by architects must be more detailed than they used to and fines for developers who breach the law have been increased substantially.
This is the first collapse of a residence since the new laws came into force and focus will now turn on the government to see what action it will take.