Akram: USD 300,000 needs to be paid to contractor for each day reclamation is halted

Former State Minister for Housing, Chairperson of Land and Flat Committee Akram Kamaluddin on November 5, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu)

Former State Minister for Housing Akram Kamaluddin who headed the former administration’s housing committee states the government needs to pay USD 300,000 in damages for Netherland-based contractor Boskalis for each single reclamation of Gulhifalhu is stalled. 

High Court issued an injunction on Wednesday, ordering the suspension of the reclamation of Gulhifalhu.

Environmental activist Humaida Abdul Ghafoor had filed a case with the Civil Court, seeking a halt to the Gulhifalhu project, citing irrevocable damage to the environment. But after the court denied an injunction to halt the project, she appealed the decision with the High Court.

On Wednesday, the appellant court granted the injunction, ordering a halt to the project until the court makes a final ruling.

Speaking with Sun following the High Court’s ruling, Akram said the agreements executed between the government and Boskalis regarding the reclamation of Gulhifalhu contained a clause on damages to be paid for days the work has been halted. He stressed that the High Court has made such a decision irrespective of the huge loss the government would have to bear because of the incapability of the current administration.

“The case had been stalled previously. Issuing such an injunction today, out of nowhere, I think is through undue influence,” he said.

Akram said the Civil Court denied such an injunction in light of documents formulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He added that the suspension of the project at the request of a private individual cannot be accepted while the EPA has made no efforts to suspend the project.

The order comes with over 100 hectors out of the planned 150 hectors already reclaimed. President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu had also announced plans to reclaim an additional 85 hectors.

The reclamation of Gulhifalhu, along with Giraavarufalhu and Hulhumale’ is part of the ‘Binveriya’ housing scheme, launched by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. His administration had announced plans to issue at least 1,000 plots from Hulhumale’, 2,000 from Gulhifalhu, and another 2,000 from Giraavarufalhu, to provide housing to residents of Male’.