Addu City Council has appealed the fine of MVR 30.8 million by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for cutting down a large number of trees and digging a water pond in the area allocated to for picnics.
The EPA fined the council in January of this year stating that it had received complaints of illegally cutting trees and palm trees as well as digging the area to make a heart shaped pond in the Ruhjehera area in Addu City. The council planned to develop the area as a special picnic zone 2021.
The council has appealed to the Environment Ministry, the EPA said. They appealed against the fine of MVR 20,000 under the Environmental Impact Reporting Rules 2012 and the fine of MVR 30,877,500 under the Environmental Damages Assessment and Compensation Rules.
The ministry on April 10, 2023 ordered the council to pay the fine of MVR 20,000 as it is not appealable. However, the Ministry has accepted the appeal of the fine of MVR 30,877,500 and asked the EPA to correct the amount and recalculate the amount of the fine.
Therefore, the EPA is working to recalculate the amount of the fine and correct it.
The EPA said in their statement at the time of the fine that Addu City Council had cleared 17,000 square meters of land and removed 1,700 cubic meters of sand from the area to dig a heart-shaped water pond.
Addu City Council was fined MVR 30.8 million under the Environmental Damage Compensation Rules and ordered to pay the money within one month, the EPA said in a statement.
The maximum compensation for environmental damage is MVR 100 million.
The project was carried out in collaboration with Addu City Council, Addu Friends and B.Tech.