[WATCH] Looking for sites where excavations are going on a day after the ban

Defiant or exempt? Construction works involving excavation and demolition carry on despite ban

A day later: has the suspension been effective?
A day later: has the suspension been effective?

The suspension of excavation and demolition works around Malta announced by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat yesterday did not stop all contractors from carrying on with work on construction sites around the island.

MaltaToday encountered jiggers, jackhammers, and excavators labouring under the sun on Friday, a day after the suspension was announced. Excavation and demolition works were seen in Sliema, St Julian's, Marsascala, and Birkirkara among other localities.

READ ALSO: Building Regulation Office officially communicates excavation works ban

It's not clear whether those that were still functioning were exempt from the suspension. Muscat said yesterday that in instances were an architect declares that stopping work could be more dangerous than allowing it to proceed, these would be exempt from the suspension.

For those contractors who ignore the ban, notwithstanding this exception, the fines faced have been temporarily increased from €1,200 to €50,000.

It's clear that this has served as a deterrent in some construction sites as some excavators sat stationery in half-finished sites amongst the rubble.

The emergency ban has followed the collapse of an apartment's wall in Gwardamanga during construction works which came just five days after an apartment caved-in in Mellieha.

Another apartment had collapsed in Gwardamanga just a month before due to construction activity taking place on an adjacent site.

READ ALSO: Gwardamanga house’s wall torn out in construction fracas