Addolorata Cemetery: Government planning extension of 2,880 graves over two years
The government yesterday issued a call for expressions of interest for the restoration and extension of the Addolorata Cemetery by 2,880 new graves.
The concessionaire has up to two years to complete the extension, as stipulated by the tender criteria, and would need to invest at least €6 million in the restoration works alone.
The news broke at a press conference held by the Minister of Health Chris Fearne, who said that the idea is to bring the site to its former dignity and to ensure that demand meets supply.
The call for expressions of interest are for a public-private partnership (PPP), with Mr Fearne stressing that all current workers would still be employed with the government, under the same conditions as negotiated by the current collective agreement in place.
The four main tasks expected of those applying to enter the PPP are to restore the existing Addolorata structures, extend the area and build 2,880 new graves, maintain the land – inclusive of lighting, landscaping, water systems, etc – and lastly to oversee the cemetery’s management, operation and service provision for 15 years.
Addolorata Cemetery was built in 1860, and is 150 years old. The extension area is just under 26,000 metres squared on the South Western side, and the concessionaire is expected to build four-tier graves.
Currently, the cemetery holds 16,000 graves, 1,200 of which are communal. It is understood that the areas neogothic style must be maintained, as well as the kind of landscaping – in order to show future generations that site in its intended form.
On the reason why the government chose to issue this call for expression, Mr Fearne said that the Ministry has received many complaints about the state of the area and the way services are rendered.
He said that under the previous governments, in 2002 a permit was filed for extension and by 2008 works had started. He said that €1.5 million was spent in excavation but in 2010 the works had abruptly stopped without any reasons being given. This led to the permit expiring in 2011 and the Addolorata Cemetery was left to deteriorate.
Mr Fearne revealed that the previous Nationalist Party administration had issued promises of sale for areas it did not have valid permits to excavate and therefore sold plots it had not even yet built.
He said that 170 promise of sales had been issued erroneously, with no tax or excise duties being paid.
“The government has regularised the position of each individual who purchased a promise of sale, and also paid all the relevant fees,” Mr Fearne said.
The process to win the contract, being called the competitive dialogue procedure has three stages: the pre-qualification questionnaire (which involves four stages in itself), the invitation to participate dialogue and the best and final offer.