K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 05-November-2017 | Sunday 22:09 | Shaaknee | Local | 368
Kulhudhuffushi island council claims that "98 percent" of the island's population "wants to reclaim the mangrove and build an airport".
Speaking on RaajjeTV's "Khabaru Feethaa" program on Sunday, Council President Abdul Latheef said that the government had spent the past three years trying to work out on how to build the airport in a different area, but that it had to give in as it was not possible. He said that it had to be done as President Abdulla Yameen had to fulfill his campaign pledge.
Noting that the airport will be beneficial to the island and its people, Latheef said that the government has the full support of the council, and the people of Kulhudhuffushi.
"Back in 2013 President Yameen had pledged to build an airport after reclaiming the mangrove. While it has been over four years since then, no organizations had previously tried to protect it. No one even spoke about such a thing. However, it became a big issue after the government commenced the work and the dredger arrived at Kulhudhuffushi. No one from the island is complaining over the matter," said Latheef.
He said that the people would rather have the airport than the mangrove, adding that he believes that President Yameen must fulfill his pledge to the Kulhuduffushi people.
Admitting that he did not know much regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Latheef said that "whatever is on there, the people want the airport".
Speaking over the matter, Kulhudhuffushi businessman Mohamed Moosa said that those against the airport "are those that do not wish well" for the island.
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