Nasheed seeks legal solution to removal of Ameenee Magu trees

Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed will be filing a case at the Civil Court seeking an order to stop the felling of trees on Ameenee Magu.

One of the main roads of capital Male' City, Ameenee Magu, is being constructed again. The MVR 84 million road development project was awarded to Road Development Corporation (RDC)on July 3. The practical work of tarring Ameenee Magu was inaugurated on August 30. RDC has been given seven months to complete the project.

The trees on both sides of Ameenee Magu are being removed while the road is being rebuilt. The removal of the trees is a concern of many people living in the city, and many have voiced their distress on social media platforms.

Nasheed has also voiced his concern against the removal of the trees. Speaking at a Parliament sitting held last Monday, Nasheed said he would have to go to court in his personal capacity to stop the removal of trees. He said the construction of Ameenee Magu with the removal of trees is a concern of many people living in the city and urged the government must find a way around removing the trees.

"I hope the company [Road Development Corporation, RDC] and the government's Planning Ministry will come to further consideration on this matter. Otherwise, as a private individual, I will have no choice but to go to court," he had said.

In response to Nasheed's warnings, RDC's Managing Director, Moosa Ali Manik, told AVAS that Nasheed was welcome to go to court to stop the removal of the trees. He said the company would not obstruct Nasheed's attempts to seek his rights.

Moosa further said the existing trees along Ameenee Magu were not planted in any order and that the road cannot be made wheelchair accessible without removing the trees. The pipes to be laid beneath the road to solve flooding problems cannot be laid either, he said. After consultation with the relevant authorities, the best option is to remove the existing trees and replant them, he said.

"The existing trees will be removed but planted elsewhere, and trees will be planted at a distance of 10 feet to 15 feet along Ameenee Magu," he said.

Following through on his threat to seek a legal solution, Nasheed has entrusted the legal firm, Shunana and Co. LLP., to carry out all legal matters related to the case on his behalf. The law firm Wednesday said it would file a petition in court on Thursday seeking an interim order to stop the felling of trees on Ameenee Magu.