Malé, Maldives – Ameenee Magu cannot be further developed with asphalt without the removal of trees, says President’s Office.
Answering a journalist’s question during the weekly press briefing on the topic of Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP), Spokesperson Mohamed Miuvan said today that the removal of trees is necessary for the development of Ameenee Magu, as the roots of the trees hinder pipe and cable placement.
“Cutting down trees is not something that anyone would want. But these things somewhat happen during projects,” said Miuvan.
Highlighting the importance of continuing the project without hindrance as the current condition of the road disrupts traffic and pedestrians, Miuvan explained that the plants in Ameenee Magu are different from trees that are typically planted roadside.
“As the water lens in Malé and in Maldives as well is quite shallow, the roots of these trees spread quite wide. Because of this spread, pipes and cables are damaged and troubles are met when placing the pipes,” he said.
He also added that the trees removed from the road will not be thrown away, but in fact, relocated.
“We are not throwing away the trees after removing them; they will be relocated. After that, re-greening of the road will happen,” said Miuvan.
The road development project worth MVR 84 million is contracted to Road Development Corporation (RDC). The project which has high expectations from the public towards it, however, has been met with criticism after RDC started removing the trees shortly after work commenced.
Among those criticising this approach of the project is Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed announced that he will be going as far as to filing the matter with court, to stop further removal of trees from the road.
Nasheed is represented by Shunana and Co., a local legal firm in the matter. The firm announced yesterday that the matter will be filed with the court today, and that a motion to temporarily halt the process of tree removal will also be requested with the court pending the outcome of the case.