The People’s Majlis is to investigate the environmental impacts of the Gulhifalhu reclamation project.
As such, its committee on environment and climate change has decided to question officials from the environment and planning ministries as well as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) over the ongoing work.
While work is underway to reclaim 16 million cubic metres in Gulhifalhu, which is being developed as an industrial island, several organizations have voiced concern over its environmental impact.
Highlighting these concerns, the parliament in a statement said that its committee on environment and climate change has launched a review into the matter.
While the first meeting over the issue was held on June 1, Majlis said that the committee will be questioning officials of the relevant institutions this Saturday.
Those that expressed concern over the reclamation project include speaker and former president, Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldives Coral Institute.
The institute, along with other NGOs, had submitted letters to the parliament highlighting concerns over “the lack of enforcement of the Environmental Act and EIA regulations”. It further called to immediately stop the dredging and reclamation work “until slit screens are put in place to adequately contain the sediment plume, and until the ongoing coral bleaching period is over”.
Save the Beach Maldives also called to “mitigate the direct impacts to reef of Villimale' and the dive sites in the impact zone”.
In a tweet posted on Sunday, EPA said that a visual observation had been conducted at the area following concerns and that there was “no apparent visual sediment build-up as of yet”.
Further noting that they are aerially monitoring the plume movement “multiple times each day”, EPA assured that they “will closely monitor the Gulhifalhu reclamation project and fully disclose all available data”.