Organizations express concern over delays in removing grounded platform

Some organizations have expressed concern over the delay in dislodging the platform used for the construction of the Thilamale' Bridge from the Villimale' Reef.

The platform, used by India's AFCONS company for the construction of the Maldives' second overwater bridge, ran aground the Villimale' reef on August 16. While a week has passed since the incident, the platform still remains beached on the reef.

Concerns over the platform have been expressed in a joint statement by Save the Beach Maldives, an environmental organization, and Villijoali, which represents the residents of Villimale'.

The statement said the island's residents could feel tremors when the platform hits the reef. Therefore, efforts to refloat the platform must be expedited by government agencies to minimize damage, the statement read, alleging that the relevant authorities were not doing enough to resolve the matter.

"It is very regrettable that the reef has suffered such continuous damage. It is likely to cause irreparable damage," the statement said.

The statement noted that there are companies in the Maldives that can remove the platform from the reef. It further said companies that undertake major projects like the Thilamale' Bridge project should be equipped to refloat the platform. The statement further called for the report on the damage caused to the reef to be shared with Villimale' residents.

An emergency motion was also moved in Parliament on Monday stating that the platform used for the construction of the Thilamale Bridge had not been removed from the reef. The motion was moved by Villimale MP Ahmed Usham.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the damage caused to the reef by the platform.