Feevah Council fined MVR 80,000 for sand mining

Sh. Feevah. (Photo/Vashifoshi)

The local council has been fined by over MVR 80,000 for mining a large quantity of sand from the Sh. Feevah beach.

In a statement Sunday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the council was fined following an investigation into a complaint the agency received on October 7 last year.

EPA said its investigation found the council mined 25 sacks of sand and 20 sacks of pebbles from the beach to build a children’s park.

The council was fined MVR 83,525 on Thursday, January 12.

The council is required to pay the fine within 30 days.

Feevah Council’s president Ali Rasheed Hassan said the council hadn’t intended to mine sand from the island’s beach to build the park, but took sand from the beach because of the bad weather and other circumstances.

“It happened. But it wasn’t to the quantity they say. We took sand on a small buggy, that’s true. We acknowledge that it is illegal to mine sand from the beach. We stopped it after that. No matter how minor the incident, it may get reported to authorities due to political differences,” he said.

Ali Rasheed said the council acknowledges that the EPA is fulfilling its responsibility, and will pay the fine within 30 days.

The incident reportedly drew concern from a large number of residents, many of whom took photos and videos and posted them on social media.