Ministry fined for environmental damage over road projects

Housing ministry has been slapped with a hefty fine for causing environmental damage during the recently completed road development projects in the capital Male and Laamu Atoll.

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in a statement said the housing ministry had not carried out the legally mandated environmental assessment before undertaking the ring road project in the capital Male.

The project consisted of installing asphalt from east-end of Boduthakurufaanu Magu; starting from Hulhumale ferry terminal stretching to the south-west end of the road near Marry Brown. The project was initiated to compliment the over water Sinamale bridge connecting the capital Male to the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale via the airport island.

EPA also said the ministry had failed to obtain the necessary permits to cut down trees before initiating the project. Housing ministry had been fined MVR191,250 over the two violations.

In addition EPA said the housing ministry had ignored its advise and directions in the road project in Laamu Atoll. The ministry had been fined MVR60,000 over the violation.

EPA said the ministry would be required to pay the total fine within 30 days.