It looks like vital projects to conserve our heritage are not given any importance. A good example is the railway carriage which was formerly located at the Old Railway Station Garden in Birkirkara and the railway embankment, the last remaining stretch of the railway line, in Attard.
The carriage was placed in the garden more than 30 years ago. Over the years, the 3rd class railway carriage has suffered severe damage due to continuous exposure to the elements as well as vandalism. It was one of several carriages which were used between 1883 and 1931.
A few weeks back, the carriage has been moved from the garden to a safer place for restoration. This was a vital step for conserving this relic of the Malta Railway. However, the government’s decision not to fund the project is almost heartbreaking. What makes matters worse is that this is the only surviving carriage of the historic Malta Railway.
We from ADŻ Malta Green Youth are disappointed about this decision. We congratulate AD Councillor in Attard, Ralph Cassar, who has worked with other colleagues on the Attard Local Council to prepare the groundwork so that the railway embankment is returned to the community. Our cultural heritage should be protected and not left rotting. Considering significant sums of money have been spent on unnecessary projects such as the €59 million project for widening the
coast road, the €42,000 required for restoring the carriage and the additional €200,000 for embankment are not a big deal.
Therefore we urge the government to rethink this decision and to allocate taxpayer’s money wisely for important projects which are required to protect our heritage. The Malta Railway is such an example, and since almost anything related to this era has either been abandoned or destroyed, it is even more important that the remaining relics are conserved and restored.
Pascal Aloisio (ADŻ Malta Green Youth Executive Member)