According to the EIA Report prepared by Government Authorized Consultant (after the project was started without an EIA) the proposed Holiday Inn, Henveiru Ameeneege is designed, built and operated to worldwide standards of Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), including the 2007 standard “green line” Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG)’s response to Global Warming.
This is the first time in the Maldives a deep pile foundation structure is constructed. This also could be the first on an atoll island too. A total of 256 x 255 mm steel H piles are to be driven into more than 100 feet of the bedrock of Male. Pile driving into the bedrock has caused noise and vibration, causing physical damages to the buildings in the vicinity. Structural damage has been observed in nearby Dharumavantha School, raising concerns about the safety of students when the new academic year opens in the second week of January.
Piling started on 16 September 2007 and continued till 22 September 2007. The work was disrupted due to public complaints of noise and damages to nearby buildings. However, permission was granted on 22 December 2007 to go ahead after carrying out an EIA.
On 2 January 2008, the project was suspended for further review by the Ministry of Environment. However, the work has been resumed on 4 January 2008 with a permission issued by Ministry of Construction and Public Works to resume the work, without consulting the Ministry of Environment, according to Television Maldives.
The Environmental Protection and Preservation Act 1993 says that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be submitted to the Ministry of Environment before “implementing any activity that impact on the environment.”
Why wasn’t an EIA done before initiating the hotel project especially as this is the first time that deep piling techniques are used in the Maldives? How appropriate is this technique for a coral island? This project has shown the lack of coordination between the concerned government agencies such as Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Construction and Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Male’ Municipality. This raises the question of who should be policing the environment.
Related news articles