Land reclamation for the airport development project in Haa Dhaal atoll Kulhudhuffushi island has been completed.
Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC)’s newest dredger “Maha Jarraf” reclaimed a total of 15 hectares, six from the island’s lagoon and nine from the island’s wetlands.
MTCC had previously stated that construction of the runway would commence as soon as reclamation was complete.
MTCC’s spokesperson announced that reclamation of the area required for airport development was complete, but that some changes have been made to the project assigned to the company. The official stated that details would be revealed next week.
The deputy president of Kulhudhuffushi Island Council, Ali Hashim, stated that, since the development of an airport was an aspiration for the residents, reclamation of land without awarding the airport development project was concerning. He also stressed that work was progressing at a slower pace than promised by the government.
The reclamation of Kulhudhuffushi’s mangrove swamp had sparked outcry with 13 environmental agencies from across the nation calling on the government to halt reclamation. Kulhudhuffushi’s swamp is notable for its rich biodiversity, including several endangered species of mangroves. The NGO’s have also filed a case in court over the issue.
Meanwhile, the government has assured that the airport project would be carried out with minimal negative impact to the environment. It declared that the airport would be completed by mid 2018.