Bridge platform refloated after 12 days wrecked on Vilimale’ reef

Platform used for construction of the Thilamale' Bridge. (Photo /Afcon)

The self-elevating platform used for the construction of the Thilamale’ Bridge has been refloated, nearly two weeks after it wrecked on the reef of suburban Vilimale’.

The platform ran aground on the Vilimale’ reef on the afternoon of August 16.

It was refloated on Saturday afternoon.

India’s Afcons Infrastructure, the project’s contractor, had promised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday that the platform would be refloated in two days.

However, the company said Thursday they had to abandoned salvage work due to bad weather.

The platform was finally refloated on Saturday, 12 days after it wrecked on Vilimale’ reef.

EPA previously stated it would conduct an assessment of possible damages to the reef once salvage efforts were complete.

Local environmental groups including Save the Beach and Villijoali had expressed concern over lack of sufficient effort to remove the platform.

In a joint statement on Monday, the groups urged relevant authorities to treat the issue with greater seriousness and find a way to expedite the removal of the platform.

They said the immediate priority should not be to impose fines for damages, but to minimize damage to the reef.

“We believe there are experts in Maldives who can get this done. And we also believe that if a project of this magnitude is being conducted, they must be equipped to get this done,” said the groups.

The environment groups called on authorities to conduct a proper assessment of the damages to the reef, and share the findings with the public.