Addu City Council fined MVR 30M for environmental damage

Hithadhoo, Addu City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The Addu City Council has been fined MVR 30 million for environmental damages caused by the activities carried out in the southern city’s Rujjehere area.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Tuesday that it imposed the fine based on the findings of an investigation launched in response to a complaint lodged with the agency regarding illegal removal of trees and construction of a pond in the Rujjehere area.

The investigation uncovered a 17,818.09 square meter area had been illegally cleared, 1,712.26 kilometers of sand had been mined, and heart-shaped pond had been dug in the area, said the EPA.

Addu City Council was fined MVR 30,897,955 for the environmental damages caused by the activities.

The council was instructed to pay the fine within 30 days on Monday.

Addu councilman Hussain Zareer told Sun that the Rujjehere area was being developed as a picnic park.

He said the council hadn’t decided at any point to clear trees and dig the area.

“I saw the place had been dug up. I asked the mayor about it. He said he never authorized for digging in the area,” he said.

Zareer said the activities were conducted without the city council’s knowledge.