Ad­do­lorata Ceme­tery: Govern­ment plan­ning ex­ten­sion of 2,880 graves over two years

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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