Inaugurated yesterday evening a big square on the area of the big disused railway station which has divided Palagianello village for several decades.
By Michele Esposito
During the 7th anniversary of SS Giovani Paolo II death, Palagianello village inaugurated the new square, named after the dead Pope and built in the hamlet centre where there was the old disused railway station which had already become a dump. Palagianello village’s administration deeply wanted the completion of this project because a garbage dump was been formed on it, dividing those who lived on one side from those who lived on the other side as it was usual to indicate people who lived on the right or on the left of the railway, for decades. With the opening of the new railway Bari-Taranto and the building of the railway station the total area of the disused railway had become desolated with a garbage dump on it. Because of this situation Palagianello village’s administration wanted a radical solution and not a temporary arrangement as was sanctioned during the Service Conference in 2003 between Palagianello village and RFI, which only provided a small cycling lane without an effective project of the area or an economic plan. Due to the present situation the Mayor Michele Labalestra and the council members tried to acquire the availability of the disused areas and obtained them 29th July 2010 and 9th September 2010. These efforts are sustained by the presentation of a funded project which included a kilometrical cycling lane, a big square with green areas, a children’s playing area and new public lighting. The following important stages for the realization of the project are dated 28th May 2010 Mayor Michele Labalestra and regional council Barbanente signed an agreement concerning the project and the fund (€788.500,00; €598.602,46: works amount net of discount; €14.018,62: security obligations); the 8th of September 2010 the completion for the whole project is ratified and on the 25th of September 2010 the first pedestrian trail which links the southern side with the northern side of the hamlet just at the end of Roma road which reduces by several kilometres some areas of the village.
<<Mayor Labalestra said: - This evening I think it is right, in this important and historical moment of our community, thanking the civil, religious and military authorities, to be proud of inaugurating the completion of a common dream: the requalification of the total Palagianello hamlet which will be a centre of aggregation for the young and adults; a centre where families can meet and have a walk with their children and big playing area; a centre for elderly people surrounded by green areas and the possibility to reach the pine wood easily; a neuralgic centre for sports people who can use the pedestrian and cycling lane. All this has been done although some “doubters” have tried in several ways to hamper this completion>>.
The Mayor explained the presence of an olive tree and some stones put at the beginning of the square as the symbols of peace and reconciliation of Palagianello’s history which refer to Giovanni Paolo II’s universal values during His pontificate; <<The stone symbolizes the vigour that in general in all different cultures it symbolizes the human being. On this stone, added Mayor Labalestra, Giovanni Paolo II’s name is written as He was the symbol of a rocky courage and faith. Today is a historical date for Palagianello, the railway will no longer divide Palagianello into two parts and the realization of this project represents the structural change for the territory. You are the true keepers of this work, protect it, keep it clean, safeguard it, monitor it and look after it>>.
Several authorities attended the inauguration ceremony, Palagianello Mayor Labalestra, the whole council members, the Mayors of Castellaneta and Mottola, Antonio Scalera, Castellaneta dioceses vicar don Fernando Balestra, Castellaneta Carabiniere heads and Palagianello Carabiniere officers, several retired members of different military association and pupils from local schools.